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Picture of the day

October 6, 2014

Alright – the flurry of travel is now over. I can get back to life in Finland – and Life In Finland. Sorry, it has been awhile!

I washed my sauna on the weekend and realized that I have never discussed sauna elves. There is plenty of folklore and stories about elves in Finland and I actually won’t go into that, you can read this link instead: Elves: General facts. You can also pick up (or borrow) a copy of Mauri Kunnas’ The Book of Finnish Elves for a more thorough overview. I am no expert on elves!

What I did want to share is a picture of our sauna elf, who faithfully sits on the bench cheerfully waiting for us to join her take part in the sauna ritual.


This is Arwen. The Mr. found her at a Christmas market in Germany more than 10 years ago. I have to admit I didn’t take an immediate liking to her at first, she just didn’t fit my image of an elf (think: pointy hat). Time passed, however, and our sauna would just not be the same without her in there.

I have seen other saunas that house small elfish figurines on the benches and in the sauna rocks. While they are more like decorations, I actually think that they add a bit of fun to the sauna.

And while we’re on the subject of sauna, Mark Bosworth, a BBC Correspondent, filed this report about Finnish sauna last fall. He ponders why Finns love saunas: Why wouldn’t we?

Do you have a sauna elf in your sauna?

Update (October 20, 2014): I got a picture from one of this blog’s readers of the sauna elves she has at home. Here is a smattering of the cool things you can buy for your sauna stove!


3 Comments leave one →
  1. Sonia permalink
    October 6, 2014 6:16 pm

    The army of sauna ghosts and elves occupy the whole upper level of the (narrow but high) sauna stove. We have a stone ghost which whistles when you skillfully pour water in his mouth and his shape resembles a guitarist – a present for my man on the first Valentine’s when moving together. His name is Valentinolainen (when I started learning Finnish, I tended to add -lainen to any word making it look Finnish to be on the safe side 😀 ). I can try to make and append a picture of the whole bunch.

    We have also a great selection of Hukka stuff, the saunakko, saunahenki, happy stone, saunabriha and all of them whistle and spread scented water – you can imagine the mess. And the stone “log” as a tea light in the sauna. Too bad that many are not produced by any longer…

    • October 8, 2014 7:18 am

      Oh yes, a picture of the collection would be fab! I can update my post and include it there.

  2. November 12, 2014 5:43 pm

    This is so cool! I told my Hubby when we get our own house he is going to build me a sauna. Two of my best friends growing up had Finnish parents and we spent a lot of time in saunas! 🙂

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