Hollywood star Jasper Pääkkönen reveals why sauna is the ultimate treat for body and soul
Four reasons why Finland’s greatest sauna ambassador loves a good steam bath. The star of Spike Lee’s BlacKkKlansman is a passionate believer in the purifying power of steam.
💧 Why are Finns sauna-mad?
“For foreigners, saunas seem exotic, but for every Finn, they’re such a casual part of our lives that we don’t even think them as special. It’s something we grow up with. My fondest childhood memories are of moments spent in the sauna with my family.”
💧 What’s in my sacred ritual
“When I’m in Helsinki, I bathe daily in the wood-fired sauna at Löyly and take a dip in the sea, year-round. I haven’t done a whole lot of sitting in churches, but for me the sauna has a church-like quality. It’s not just a form of physical, but more importantly also mental purification.”
💧 Why Helsinki needed a new urban sauna?
“Löyly was born partly out of frustration. There was nowhere in Helsinki I could take foreign guests to enjoy the ultimate Finnish experience of a traditional, wood-heated sauna. It felt like a crazy chance to build a postcard destination – a naïve, child-like ambition to create a landmark that will still be here after I’m gone.”
💧 What’s it like to sweat with Spike Lee
“The sauna is the best place for visitors to understand the core of what Finland is all about. When Spike (Lee) recently came to Helsinki, both he and his wife Tonya absolutely loved the sauna. Tonya recently mentioned she has since visited every single sauna in New York, but not a single one is hot enough.”
Text Silja Kudel
Photos Kim Öhrling and Löyly Helsinki