Different cultures and countries have different traditions when they think about relaxing. And for the Turkish people, there's nothing like a Turkish Hamam, for the Finnish, nothing is better than a sauna. Although they both share some similarities since they are ways to cleanse your body and spirit, to detox and to relax, their rituals are different. The most important thing in both rituals is that you should not rush at all and should just enjoy every step of their rituals. I promise you that you will get the prize as feeling relaxed and happy from head to toe when you are coming out the hamam/sauna.
You probably know the Turkish Hamam as the Turkish Bath. While mostly used by men, they are already used by women as well.
The Turkish Hamam has some etiquette rules that you need to follow. Since there is no mixing, the Turkish Hamam can have two different areas, one for each gender, or they attend men and women on different days of the week.
Although men usually take all their clothes remaining only with the towel, women usually keep their underwear. However, they don't usually keep the bra. You just need to make sure that your Turkish Towel is well placed and that you don't accidentally drop it. When you're only using your towel and sandals, it's time to go to the hot room - the "hararet". You should remain there to sweat and relax for about 15 minutes at around 40 ° C- 50 ° C ( you will definitely feel more because of it has high steam unlike sauna). At that time, the masseur will swab you and give you a massage. Then, it's time for the attendant to start scrubbing you with a cloth called “kese” to wash away all your dirt from your body on the octagonal, heated marble stone (“göbek taşı”) and enjoy exfoliation. When it's done, you are ready for the next level which is foam scrubbing. Although ypu can complete the Turkish Hamam bathing, you can remain there and relax for a little more or could chat with your friend at heated room so called “halvet” (means be isolated in Arabic) which has small room without any door. Some customers take some time to relax, have a drink, or even take a nap.
Finland is mostly known by their saunas. You can even say that the Finnish sauna is a substantial part of these people, of their culture. Just like the Turkish Hamam, the Finnish Sauna is great to cleanse your body, to relax, and to spend some time with your family and friends. Many people even say that more deals are closed on saunas than during office meetings. Unlike the Turkish Hamam, Finnish saunas have no music, the lights are weak, and there is no smell except for the natural tar and fresh birch and have a temprature around 80 ° C- 110 ° C. Despite Finns usually go to the sauna nudes, they will understand if you prefer to wear a towel or a swimsuit. In Finnish saunas, there isn't a clear distinction between genders. It will be like what you feel more comfortable with. Families are used to sharing the sauna together, for example, however, for some people, it might just be too strange.
Finnish have different saunas but the one they usually prefer is the smoke-sauna. When the wood is burned in the stove and the smoke is out of the room, the temperature is maintained by the embers. You can remain in the sauna for as long as you wish and you can use a "vasta" or "vihta"to whip yourself with. This will help your skin to be smoother. When you feel it's too hot for you, just come out and jump into a lake or roll in the snow. You can either get back into the sauna if you want, or just lay down and enjoy a beer or cider, and some roasting sausages.