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Avaldatud: 25 May, 2013

Haanja Smoke Sauna Week

The local smoke saunas in Haanja open up their doors so that everybody can experience and learn about this ancient tradition. Various smoke sauna workshops are held. Traditional music concerts.

For thousands of years, sauna has been an inseparable part of the everyday life in Haanja. Initially, saunas were not merely places for washing – they signified something much bigger. The whole circle of life was connected with saunas. Here people were born and died. A sauna was a place for self-contemplation, for the body and soul alike.

The fast development in the recent decades has resulted in changes in the tradition and customs of sauna. Different kinds of saunas have been invented. The traditional smoke sauna with its customs, wisdoms and beliefs has become a unique experience, even exclusive.
Haanja area is still an active promoter of smoke saunas – together with its beliefs, skills and knowledge.

This is the second year Haanja Smoke Sauna Week is held, and the third one is on its way.

The best words to describe this event are ‘simple’ and ‘natural’. For some of the people in Haanja area smoke sauna is still the only place for washing. For them it is a natural way of living, a tradition passed on from generation to generation.

Haanja Smoke Sauna WeekEvery sauna has its story and traditions. No two smoke saunas are alike. While anyone can heat up the regular sauna, the smoke sauna has only one sauna master or lady. It usually takes 5 or 6 hours to heat up the smoke sauna, after which it must stay a couple of hours and close attention is paid to the fumes. The preparation time until smoke sauna is ready to be enjoyed takes a full working day.

On the day of the smoke sauna, everyone must lend a hand collecting wood, heating up the sauna, carrying water, but also preparing lunch and dinner. All and all it is a very natural day from morning till night.