Ho ho ho! ⛄️
Christmas is coming closer and we have been working like crazy here, the elves are trying as hard as they can to handcraft all the toys in time for the big day. So to let them relax and destress I have decided to invite all of them to the sauna!
It is one of the oldest traditions in Lapland to regularly go in the Sauna, which is a heated space (between 70 and 100 degrees) meant for physical and spiritual cleansing. Deeply engrained in the Scandinavian way of living, it is believed that there are enough saunas in Finland to simultaneously accomodate all 5.4 millions of inhabitants.
What could appear as surprising to people that aren’t used to the Lappish way of going into the sauna though would be the nudity and especially the non gender separated tendency of these saunas.
From a very young age, Scandinavians are used to going to the sauna with their mom and dad and seeing all other types of naked bodies sweating together in a small room.
Not in Lapland, where it’s not rare for business meetings to be held in nude saunas. It’s believed that better decisions and cleared minds come from the purging effect of sweating.
Nudity is considered as intimate and sexual in Australia and sweating is also often seen as unhygienic and smelly so the combination of the two can make nude saunas an unpleasant experience to tourists, leading them to feel very uncomfortable. Australians attach this idea of awkwardness with being naked which brings them to cringe at the idea of stripping off in front of strangers.
There is not much to be done to minimise the shock of the first naked experience, but the lappish sauna etiquette isn’t strict so you can stay wrapped in your towel. Just close your eyes, sit back and enjoy the heat relaxing your muscles!