Did you catch the news of the big sauna party? There’s actually an event called the World Sauna Championship and the goal is (as you can guess) to stay in a broiling hot sauna longer than your competitors. The victor is the last one to leave the sauna … without assistance.
Despite the fact that the sauna has existed for eons, the competition wasn’t invented officially until 1999, and it only began then after some folks were banned from the swim hall in Heinola, Finland, for staging an unofficial sauna sit-in contest. Now these World Championships have become one big sauna party, televised and viewed by millions of people around the world.
The Finnish Sauna Society is aghast at the whole idea and have denounced it. They think it’s unhealthy and dangerous (the starter temperature is 230 degrees F and goes up every 30 seconds from there). But this party isn’t just a nutter’s competition; bathers are willing to bake to lobster-red for several minutes in order to win a week’s vacation in some exotic -- and hot -- locale like Morocco.
UPDATE: As of 2010 these sauna contests are no longer being held. The health risks were just too great.
But enough about pain and suffering and survival of the fittest, you can host your own party and have a lot more fun. If you’ve recently installed a large outdoor sauna and have given some thought to sending out invitations, here’s a few ideas to keep in mind:
Hosting your own sauna party is a great way to connect with friends and introduce them to the wonderful experience of the sauna bath. Or here’s an idea: invite your friends over to enjoy the bath, then go in and catch the World Sauna Championships on TV!