Bathing habits

9.00-10.30, Hall B


  • Reasons for going „wet`n warm“
  • Sauna mythology, psychology
  • Evolution of sauna culture
  • National forms of sauna
  • Questions and answers

Moderator: Birutė Masiliauskienė 


1. Evolution of sauna culture

Ritva Müller, Finland

Different customs are one of the reasons to do so when abroad. What differences there are in various sauna customs and how to meet them in praxis.

2. The lack of sauna culture in Denmark

Michael B. Jensen, Denmark

About the reasons for forming the Danish Sauna Society telling about the pure sauna experiences we have seen through the years in Denmark, and about the Danes misunderstandings about sauna bathing, and the slow development the latest years.

3. “Ancient Lithuanian Bath – The Sanctuary” or Lithuanian bath customs and meaning from birth to the death

Aivaras Lileika, Lithuania

Archaeological information. Historical information. Symbols and folklore.The necessity to revive, revitalize and continue tradition of the bath as a Home Sanctuary.

4. Sauna History of Kenya

Reijo Hakanen, Kenya

What brought sauna culture to Kenya? Saunas became a “must” in high class hotels. Kenyan students and professionals studying in Finland got used to sauna experience and took the interest with them back home. Recent wellness industry and Spa culture have saunas and steam baths an inevitable part of their facilities. Latest development in Kenyan sauna culture development is felt by the stiff competition of the many Sauna manufacturers of the world.

5. Sauna in Canada – past, present and future

Josee-Ann Cloutier, Canada

An overview of sweat bathing and sauna traditions in Canada will be presented starting with the sweat lodge ceremony also known at the purification ceremony practiced among Aboriginal People. The Finnish sauna immigration and other cultures shaping sauna culture in Canada will be discussed. The commercial and non commercial contexts and trends on the Canadian sauna scape will also be covered.

6. Why and Who nominated Võro Community Smoke Sauna Intagible Heritage into UNESCO’s Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity

Eda Veeroja, Estonia

For the Võro people the smoke sauna is a part of their identity. Mostly family tradition comprises a rich set of customs including the actual bathing and cleansing customs, the skills of making bath whisks, building and repairing saunas and smoking meat in the sauna. As any living tradition the smoke sauna customs have changed over time. To support the viability of customs in the contemporary hasty life style the nomination process into UNESCO’s Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage is one powerful approach. The presentation analyses the nomination process outcomes and the perspectives for the future.

7. Latvian traditional pirts as a ritual

Juris Batna, Latvia

Pirts rituals are connected with seasons of year and favorit transitions in family life. In Latvian traditional pirts we work with very different bessoms and herbs.

%d bloggers like this: