Finnish Sauna

Finnish SaunaThis Finnish sauna was completed in 1997 when FinnFest USA held its annual national celebration in Minot. Typically, a sauna consists of a dressing room, wooden benches and a stove of hot, glowing stones heating the room to 190 to 280 degrees.

Sprinkling water on the stones makes the sauna steamier. Some bathers beat themselves with wet, leafy birch twigs to stimulate circulation. Following a hot sauna, the bathers jump into the nearest lake or swimming pool and the repeat the process. Saunas for men and women are usually separate.

Inviting guests for a sauna is as common as inviting them for a meal.

In America, saunas, always known to those of Finnish descent, acquired much wider popularity when one was installed at the 1960 Winter Olympics at Squaw Valley, California. President John F. Kennedy built one at the White House

Finland has 4,000,000 people and 5,000,000 private saunas!