What are the sauna customs in Estonia?

Answers:

  • Estonians don’t wear swimsuits, towel is an option.
  • Depends on where and with whom. A casual home sauna with friends – you don’t wear anything. SPA or a swimming pool – wear a swimsuit, if not advised differently.
  • Tradition is to go naked and beat yourself with thing called “kaseviht”.
  • For Estonians it’s really not a big deal to be naked in the sauna with the same sex. I mean in the gym sauna in the dressing rooms, you don’t wear anything AND (the horror!) you’re sitting alongside with same sex strangers. Also in suitsusaun (smoke sauna) it is common that it is a naked mixed sex sauna. It’s all fog so you barely see where you’re going to sit and swimsuit is not comfortable+it will be smelly and dirty from the soot. And when you get out for a beer, you wear a towel. When in mixed company, men usually don’t bother with swimsuits and women can go either way – naked or towel/swimsuit. Whatever you do, don’t stare at anyone’s bodyparts.
  • In 11.5 years of living here it has been basically 90% naked even on mixed sauna. I first met my wife’s friends naked in sauna, we met our neighbours (properly) after a few years when invited to sauna… Mixed and naked. We have had company events and was always mixed and naked in private rented saunas. Public spas are different of course. There was one across from the Radisson Blue hotel though that had separated changing areas, yet open and the saunas located in the middle were mixed. Swimsuits were forbidden due to chlorine etc. But a towel was mandatory, at least to sit on for hygienic reasons. Just go with the flow. Some people prefer non mixed and some mixed, where usually it is naked. I have seen the vast majority of friends and relatives even nude, in sauna. It is not, not should be a sexual thing.

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