The sauna culture in Finland has been inscribed on UNESCO’s List of Intangible Cultural Heritage. The sauna culture is the first Finnish element on UNESCO’s Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. Unesco announced the status in December 2020. Unesco highlights the intangible but very real spirit of Finnish sauna culture. Finnish people associate the sauna with relaxation, conversation, health and connecting with nature.
Depending on the source of your stats, between 60 and 90 percent of Finnish people have a sauna at least once a week. The accessibility of saunas in Finns’ everyday lives is visible in the sheer number of saunas: there are 3.3 million of them in Finland, which has a population of 5.5 million.
“Sauna is such a big part of Finnish people’s lives, both in everyday life and at festive moments,” Leena Marsio, a senior advisor at the Finnish Heritage Agency says. Many people in Finland consider saunas more essential to life than folks in other countries would probably imagine. “A Finn sleeps, drinks, eats, and goes to the sauna,” says Marsio. “There are saunas elsewhere in the world, but nowhere is there such a sauna-crazy people as the Finns.”
Read more about Finnish sauna and the intangible cultural heritage here.
This and other news, like three extraordinary hotel openings and fascinating virtual experiences in the latest Finland Convention Bureau newsletter.
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