Banya (sauna) for Russians is like a cult. It is able to regenerate human again, to give strength for new exploits.
Don’t go there after midnight
If you think that a banya is as an uninhabited island, you are mistaken. For centuries there lives so-called Bannik – a banya master. This creature likes when everyone please him in every way: leave a bar of soap, for example, or water in a pitcher – Bannik also wants to wash. He prefers steaming strongly after midnight. If you also have such a “wonderful” idea, beware – Bannik will crush you. Simply to say, it will intoxicate your desperate little head.
Woman, step aside!
Even in banya there was discrimination of women, and all because they were considered to be unclean for centuries. Even to a church they were not always allowed to enter, what is there to say about the bath. It was believed that if a woman goes to the bath first, then all that she washed away, her sins and disease will pass to someone who will bathe afterwards. Therefore, the first, of course, “holy” men went to wash, and only then their “impure” wives.
Don’t go the third one
In addition that Bannik prefers to steam after midnight, he still loves his third turn in the so-called “third steam”. Note: Bannik will not forgive if you try to disrupt the order and enter the bath in the third set. Bannik’s action will be gentle and awing: he either will pour boiling water on you so that the skin will descend, or simply choke. Purity is, of course, the guarantee of health, but if you really do not have time, you’d better go to bed, dirty but at least unscathed.
Do not raise the degrees
Bannik can not tolerate alcohol. Of course, you can raise the degrees in a banya, , but only the temperature ones. It was believed that Bannik was able to peel the skin and pull it on the ceiling from those who abused alcohol. However, this superstition has understandable explanations. Drunk man can do a lot of “miracles” in a banya: pour boiling water on himself, to fall on hot coals or lose consciousness.
Do not spit on the stones
They say: spit on the stones and Bannik will spit back, that very hurts. He is a very touchy comrade, and any hint of disrespect punishes mercilessly. And still it is believed that those who spits on stones in a banya, will have cold sores. Do you need it? No. Much better to make the stones hotter with clean water, and to please Bannik.
Everyone has a personal broom
A broom in banya is a serious attribute that one should come up to their choice with a special thrill and excitement. To knit brooms is better only during a full moon. And when one mercilessly brokes twigs of oak or birch, all the time ask the tree of forgiveness. And never use a broom after someone in banya. It is believed that with someone else’s broom you can transfer all the ailments, worries and troubles of its owner on yourself. So each bather has a personal broom!
Not a good day for banya
There are some special rules of days when one should visit a banya. In no case do it on Monday – that day banya is completely at the disposal of Bannik, as you have already understood, joke isn’t worth it. Best days to have bath have always been considered to be Thursday or Saturday. Those who are particularly prone to purity, can also add Tuesday. These days Bannik will even willing to kindly look for evil forces, so that wouldn’t bother you.
But of course, these all are just beliefs…