“If you want to understand the Finns, first go to a Finnish sauna.” Sauna is such a big part of Finnish culture - it can’t be compared to anything else. It is their way of life.
Maybe sauna bathing could explain why Finnish people are the happiest in the world. For the third year in a row. So, if we can learn anything from Finland, sauna bathing should be it! Sauna is the only Finnish word that has been internationally accepted in other languages – it is the perfect symbol for Finland, its people and culture.
It is said that there are enough saunas in Finland to easily accommodate all 5.4 million Finns simultaneously. It’s true, since estimates place the number somewhere between two and three million. There are saunas in studio apartments, at summer cottages and public swimming pools, gyms and hotels, on boats and buses, you name it – Finnish embassies abroad have their own saunas and there’s even one inside the Parliament in Helsinki. That one, of course, has a Helo heater; Read more here.
The expression “post-sauna” (“saunanjälkeinen”) is the best way to describe the total relaxation you get after a sauna. It is a perfect excuse for avoiding doing pretty much anything. The feeling of being physically and mentally cleansed is something so blissful you want to enjoy it in peace as long as you can.