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sauna history

Famous in the world of sauna, sauna history

Famous in the world of sauna, sauna history

sauna history

sauna history

sauna history

sauna history

sauna history

sauna history

Famous in the world of sauna, sauna history
In Mexico and Central America, particularly in the highlands of central and southern Mexico and Guatemala, a version of the sauna indigenous to the Americas, called temazcal, is quite popular. It is the Mexican, Central American version of the sweat lodge used by indigenous peoples of the Americas, though the temazcal is usually made of clay or stone rather than wood. A characteristic of the temazcal is that it can have religious connotations, as in the North American sweat lodge and represents the womb, the elements, and a microcosm of the earth, although in less traditional communities its main purpose is simply for washing oneself. Some unique characteristics of the temazcal is that it is often used by traditional midwives for helping childbirth, and traditional healers often treat their patients in the temazcal (mainly through herbalism, by putting various types of medicinal plants on the heat source for treating specific ailments).

Archeological sites in Greenland and Newfoundland have uncovered structures very similar to traditional Scandinavian farm saunas, some with bathing platforms and “enormous quantities of badly scorched stones”.

In Europe, the Nordic countries have a sauna tradition. The Finnish sauna culture is well established, there are built-in-saunas in almost every house in Finland.The oldest known saunas in Finland were made from pits dug in a slope in the ground and primarily used as dwellings in winter. The sauna featured a fireplace where stones were heated to a high temperature. Water was thrown over the hot stones to produce steam and to give a sensation of increased heat. This would raise the apparent temperature so high that people could take off their clothes. The first Finnish saunas are what nowadays are called savusaunas, or smoke saunas. These differed from present-day saunas in that they were heated by heating a pile of rocks called kiuas by burning large amounts of wood about 6 to 8 hours, and then letting the smoke out before enjoying the l?yly, or sauna heat. A properly heated “savusauna” gives heat up to 12 hours.

As a result of the industrial revolution, the sauna evolved to use a metal woodstove, or kiuas [?kiu.ɑs], with a chimney. Air temperatures averaged around 70–80 degrees Celsius (160–180 degrees Fahrenheit) but sometimes exceeded 90 °C (194 °F) in a traditional Finnish sauna. When the Finns migrated to other areas of the globe they brought their sauna designs and traditions with them. This led to further evolution of the sauna, including the electric sauna stove, which was introduced in 1938 by Metos Ltd in Vaasa and far infrared saunas, which have gained some popularity in the last several decades. Although the culture of sauna nowadays is more or less related to Finnish culture, the evolution of sauna happened around the same time both in Finland and the Baltic countries sharing the same meaning and importance of sauna in daily life, shared still to this day.


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sauna history

sauna china • December 27, 2014

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