In Finland, Estonia and Latvia, and in Russia, the sauna is an ancient custom. Previously, it was a Holy place where women gave birth, and the bodies had to be washed. Folk customs and traditions . omens and superstitions associated with the sauna, there are in each country. Among other things, the sauna was the place of worship of the dead: it was believed that there is so good that even the dead would like to return. Treatment of diseases and love spells could also happen in the sauna.
As in many other cultures, in Finland, the fire was considered a gift from the gods, so the hearth and the sauna were often his altars. In Finnish language there is a word (löyly), strictly connected with the sauna. It means the warmth of the sauna and steam which is formed when poured on the hot stones with water. Originally this word meant spirit or life. In many languages related to Finnish, there is a similar word that shows: folk customs and traditions of different peoples are related. For example, the Estonian word “leil”. The same word meaning “spirit” exists in the Latvian language. Another example is the word “lil” on dialect of Ostyak, which means “soul”, pointing to an old, spiritual essence of the sauna. There still exists an old saying “in the sauna as in Church” Continue reading