What Is a traditional Lithuanian Bathhouse?adminlithuania
Lithuanians traditionally used steam bathhouses. Lithuanian bathhouses are unique for their abundant use of various medicinal herbs. A special procedure at a Lithuanian bathhouse is the light slapping of the bather with bath whisks or brooms – bundles of birch or oak twigs (called
vanta in Lithuanian) or twigs of other trees. In winter, frozen or salted bath whisks are used! Bathers lightly slap themselves or each other, or are slapped by a bathmaster. In addition to this ritual, it is popular to rub the body with salt, ground chestnuts, clay, honey, and other natural
products. The traditional Lithuanian bathhouse is not very hot (about 60° C), but moist, because steam is produced by pouring water on hot stones placed on a wood burner. The bathhouse rituals usually take four hours. Bathers relax in a steam bathhouse, then cool down outside or by swimming in a lake or river. Usually they go to the bathhouse four times – first for the steam ritual, then a body scrub, then the slapping of the body with bath whisks, and finally the closing of the bathhouse. The most appropriate drink for the bathhouse is tea made from mint, thyme, willow herb and other herbs. Tea is offered during healthy bathhouse rituals.