saunas

The Culture of Saunas Around the World: Part 2

Americans love using hot tubs and saunas to relax. In fact, as of spring 2014, a full 21 million U.S. households owned a spa, pool, or hot tub. This leisure activity is a great past time, but what many Americans may not know is that the sauna has a very rich history in many cultures around the world.

In our previous post, we described the difference between the Russian bayna, the Japanese onsen, and the Finnish sauna. Here we explain some examples of bathhouse culture from around the world!

Turkish hammam
The Turkish hammam has roots in the Ancient Roman and Byzantine bath culture, which emphasized having places of extreme cleanliness, according to BBC. The idea of visiting a Turkish hammam is to cleanse the soul inside and out, while also serving as a great venue for celebrating major life events such as weddings or births. Hammams have been in Turkish culture since 600 A.D. and are still popular today as a gathering place for people of all ages. Areas of the spa are separated into male and female, and the hammam is popular for a rough body scrub that cleanses the entire body.

Korean jimjilbang
What’s interesting about the jimjilbang is that they are always open 24 hours a day, so they serve as a place of lodging for travelers overnight. They are usually large spas full of steam rooms, charcoal-heated saunas, and hot tubs. Professionals at the jimjilbangs also use a variety of different materials in their spa practices such as jade stones, milk, and baked clay that draw in tourists from all over the world.

Native American sweat lodge
Native American sweat lodges are important gathering places for all different tribes around the nation. They have been around since the early 1600s, and the idea is quite simple: to sweat out impurities. A pile of heated rocks sits in the center of a domed tent, and participants take turns pouring water on them while a sweat leader leads the group in song and offers up sacrifices to the gods. Most sweat lodges have multiple 30-minute sweat sessions, with breatk periods to drink water and go outside.

As one can see, saunas are quite diverse around the world, but they all have one theme — they bring people together! If you would like to have your own sauna to reap all these wonderful benefits, call our experts today.

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