The Finnish sauna (bastu) is a substantial part of Finnish and Estonian culture.
It was inscribed on the UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage Lists at the December 17, 2020 meeting of the UNESCO Intergovernmental Committee for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage. As authorized by the state, the Finnish Heritage Agency commits, together with Finnish sauna communities and promoters of the sauna culture, to safeguard the vitality of the sauna tradition and to highlight its importance as part of customs and wellbeing. In the case of Estonia UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage Lists smoke sauna tradition since 2014.
The word sauna itself is of Finnish origin. In Estonian language it is saun.
Origins of the sauna
The sauna in Finland is an old phenomenon and its roots are difficult to trace, but its earliest versions are believed to be from 7000 BC. Bath houses were recorded in Europe during the same time period, but Finnish bathing habits we