The craziest sauna trends in the world – from traditional to eccentric

As a sauna fan, you may already know all about the benefits of a hot, relaxing sauna session. But did you know that there are a variety of sauna trends around the world, ranging from traditional to downright eccentric? In this post, we'll take you on a journey through the world's craziest sauna trends. From whimsical to fascinating - let's go on a journey.
From Finland to Japan: Fascinating sauna trends from around the world
© kumazawamitsuru/

From Finland to Japan: Fascinating sauna trends from around the world

From snow-covered sauna huts in Finland to eye-catching infusion rituals in Japan, the world of sauna offers so many interesting variations and practices you may have never heard of or seen before. So, put on your bathing shoes and get ready for a fascinating journey through the world of the craziest sauna trends.

Traditional sauna rituals in Finland: hot, cold and then off into the ice water!

In Finland, the home of the sauna, traditional sauna rituals are an integral part of the culture. There are many unique practices here that differ from those in other countries. One of them is the alternation between the hot sauna and ice-cold water.

Finns sweat in the sauna at temperatures above 80 °C and increase the humidity by pouring water on the hot sauna stones. After sweating profusely, they immerse themselves in ice-cold water, either a lake or an ice hole, to boost circulation and blood flow. This interplay between heat and cold is an intense and at the same time refreshing experience that invigorates body and mind.

Japanese sauna: from “Mizuburo” to “Harakiri infusion

In Japan, there are a variety of eccentric sauna practices that are deeply rooted in the country’s culture and history. One of these practices is the“mizuburo“, a small room filled with warm water that serves as a “sauna”. Here you can sit in knee-deep water and relax your body while your head sticks out of the water. A unique way to experience the “sauna” while enjoying the feeling of weightlessness.

Another unusual sauna practice in Japan is the“Harakiri infusion.” During this infusion, a mixture of water and ice is poured onto the sauna stones, creating a spectacular cloud of steam. The name “Harakiri” refers to the traditional Japanese suicide ritual in which samurai take their own lives. But don’t worry, the Harakiri infusion is not about suicide, but about an impressive visual and sensory experience in the sauna.

Russian banya: with birch branches and beer for relaxation

In Russia, the banya, a traditional sauna, is widely used and has its own unique rituals. A well-known Russian sauna ritual is the use of birch twigs, the so-called “venik”. These are soaked in hot water and then tapped on the skin to stimulate circulation and exfoliate the skin. It is a refreshing and invigorating experience deeply rooted in Russian culture.

Another interesting element of the Russian sauna is the use of beer. Yes, you heard right – beer in the sauna! In some banjas, beer is poured onto the sauna stones to create a special infusion that supposedly invigorates the senses and promotes relaxation. This is an unusual but very popular practice, which differs from other sauna cultures.

Turkish hammam: a place of purification and relaxation

The Turkish hammam, a traditional bathhouse, is not only about sweating, but also about cleansing and caring for the body. The hammam is known for its elaborate washrooms and special washing rituals, where guests are cleansed and massaged from head to toe.

A popular ritual in the hammam is the so-called “peeling”, where the skin is scrubbed with a special glove, the “Kese”, to remove dead skin cells and make the skin fresh and radiant. Then the body is washed with soap and water and massaged with fragrant oils. A holistic experience that cleanses and pampers body and mind.

Infrared sauna: deep heat for health and relaxation

In addition to traditional sauna practices, there are also modern sauna trends based on the latest technologies. One of them is the infrared sauna, where the body is warmed by deep heat from the inside.

Infrared saunas are known for their health benefits, such as relieving muscle tension, improving circulation and supporting the immune system. Unlike conventional saunas, which heat the air around the body, infrared rays penetrate deep into the skin and create a pleasant warmth from within. A modern and effective way to combine health and relaxation in the sauna.

Eccentric sauna trends worldwide: naked or with clothes?

Now let’s take a look at some fancy sauna trends from different parts of the world. Because not everywhere sauna is practiced traditionally or conventionally. Some countries have very specific approaches and preferences.

In Japan, for example, there is the“Mizuburo“, also known as water pool sauna. Here, guests do not sit on sauna benches, but in a pool of warm water that reaches up to their chest. This provides a gentle warming of the body and a relaxing water experience. It is also interesting to note that bathing suits are often worn in Japanese saunas, unlike the traditional Finnish sauna where nudity is common.

In Canada, on the other hand, there is the“banya“, a sauna practice of the Russian community. However, it differs from the traditional Russian banya in that it often takes place in combination with ice hockey! Yes, you read that right – Canadians combine their love of field field hockey with saunas by going to the sauna during a break in the game to warm up and relax. This is an unusual sauna trend that reflects Canadian culture.

In the Netherlands, there is the“infusion ceremony,” also known as“löyly,” which originated in Finland but has become a trend of its own in the Netherlands. During this process, the sauna master, also known as the “infusion master,” performs creative infusions with different scents and aromas to provide sauna guests with a unique multi-sensory experience. These ceremonies are often accompanied by music, lighting effects and special staging to stimulate the senses and take the sauna experience to a new level.

Conclusion: Sauna trends worldwide – tradition meets innovation

Sauna is undoubtedly a centuries-old tradition practiced in various cultures around the world. From the hot steam baths of Turkey to the icy infusions of Finland to the eccentric sauna trends of Japan, Canada and the Netherlands, there are a variety of variations and practices that make the sauna a fascinating experience.

While some sauna trends are based on traditional practices, others show an innovative approach to saunas by using modern technologies such as infrared radiation or combining saunas with other activities such as ice hockey or creative infusion ceremonies. It is fascinating to see how the sauna is interpreted and developed in different parts of the world.

Whether traditional or innovative, saunas offer numerous health benefits such as improving circulation, cleansing the body, promoting relaxation and stress management, and strengthening the immune system. However, sauna should always be done with caution and taking into account individual health conditions.

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