An Estonian girl who has found a home in Sweden.

Friday, April 16

April 16, 2004 Posted by Vaire

Fun things to do with your friendly neighbourhood birch

Part III

Make a sauna-whisk. In Estonian sauna tradition birch whisks are used to whack yourself and others in sauna. This looks like some kind of flagellation, but it really doesn't hurt and it is fun.

Sauna-whisks are made in summer when there's leaves on twigs. To make a sauna-whisk collect a bunch of birch branches and tie them together with twine. You have enough branches for one whisk when the twig bottom ends fit into your hand comfortably. The best shape is rounded, not thin and elongated; we are not into pain here.

When you have the whisks and are heating the sauna, the whisks are put into hot water for an hour or two to soften the twigs. When the sauna is ready, go and have fun whacking each other after you've started to sweat.

The sauna-whisks will last a few sessions, but after the leaves are gone they are used as firewood.