History of Russian Bath (Banya)

Egyptians bath history

The history of saunas goes into far antiquity. The first mention of a bath associated with the Egyptians, who have  emphasized  great importance to clean the body and used the bath for over 6,000 years. Widespread use of bath allowed the Egyptians to maintain their health, keep slim shapes and decelerate the aging process. Egyptian healers, reputed to be among the best in the world, had used very extensively the water treatment and baths in their art.

Saunas in Russia first appeared in the V - VI centuries. Bath were then used in various ceremonies, such as weddings. In Russia there were many private and shared baths. Private baths worked only once a week - on Saturdays, because those days non one worked, even in the public places. At that time men and women bathed together in public and in private baths and wash their whole families in private baths. 

 
Only in 1743 by decree of the Senate it was forbidden for men and women to bathe together. It was only allowed for male sex no older than 7 years to enter the women's bathhouse, and respectively, for a female no older than 7 years to enter the men's bath. 
 
Bath for a Russian man was literally in every aspect of his life: newborns were washed in the bath and those leaving this world, the couple washed before the wedding so that they would enter into married life with pure souls and bodies and also bath were used to cast an evil spirits out of people. During a boisterous feast, people used bath to sober a drunk person. Each hospitable host felt obliged to invite a guest or a traveler to the bath. 
 
Russian bath-house had two versions: with a boiler-house "on black" and "on white". In the case of the boiler-house "on black" it was used in the oven without a chimney, with all the smoke going out through the door bath, thus warming the room which required ventilation. With the boiler-house sauna "on white" the smoke escaped through the chimney, thus the ventilation was not required in that room.
Share:





Contribute content

We currently invite writers to contribute content and share their expertise with a like-minded Russian-speaking audience in america.
Contribute

Newsletter sign up

Back to top