Sunset lakeview

Four facts about Finnish sauna bathing

Sauna bathing is an essential part of Finnish culture. There are 3,3 million saunas in Finland - and total the population of Finland is 5,4 million.

1. The length of a sauna visit can vary from 5 minutes to 5 hours (or longer).

There is not a defined length for sauna bathing. Take a communal swimming pool for instance: many people might stay in the sauna only for a few minutes on their way to the swimming pool. At home going to the sauna might take them 30 mins to 2 hours. In older apartment buildings every resident can book a weekly sauna time in the shared sauna, and a very common lenght is one hour. And then again, at a summer cottage or in a party, sauna bathing can take many, many hours. But of course, that doesn't mean that one stays in the sauna all that time. In between it's common to cool down in the sauna veranda or in a lake.

Birch logs in a basket

2. Sauna can take place any time of the day.

Traditionally, sauna is heated in the evening, usually on weekends. But you can go into the sauna any time during the day (or night). Morning sauna might fresh you up if you have had a long party the evening before. Day sauna is a good idea if there is a need to go somewhere in the evening. For example, Christmas sauna can take place during the afternoon on Christmas Eve, before the festivities start

Koskenkorva sauna barrel with cocktail

3. The Finns have two favourite sauna drinks: Beer and Original Long Drink

Sauna drink can technically be whatever but there are two definite favourites among the Finnish people: lager beer or Hartwall Long Drink (called also lonkero in Finnish) which is a mix of premium Finnish gin and grapefruit. In addition, sparkling and still water are safe bets for a sauna bathing session. When it comes to stronger spirits, Jaloviina is also a traditional sauna drink. If there is a bigger party and sauna is organized as a part of it, it is common surprise to hide a bottle of Jaloviina somewhere in the sauna premises for the guests to enjoy.

4. Helsinki's public sauna culture is booming.

Originally, sauna has been a place to clean up which is why Helsinki has always been filled with public saunas. One of the oldest saunas still in operation is Kotiharjun sauna in Kallio which was opened in 1928. During the recent years, new, public urban saunas have appeared in the city and the sauna culture is certainly booming. Here is a list:

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