One of the most common questions people ask me when they hear I am originally from Finland is “so, you swim in the frozen water”? And my answer is “yes we do”. Sometimes, and depending on the family member.
Below I am going to demonstrate what this ice swimming ritual contains.
1. Find a frozen lake, sea or river. There is probably going to be a lot of snow, so get rid of it. You need to see the ice before you can start making the hole in it (at least it is easier this way).
2. Start making the hole. Whether you do it manually or mechanically, you will sweat. Believe me.
3. Once the hole is ready, have a respected family member (like your father or mother) check that the hole fits you and your needs.
4. During the last phase, other members are invited to participate in the ritual. Some like combining swimming in the ice with meditation, some prefer it with a glass of wine. My brother thought that One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel García Márquez is a relaxing way to enjoy the ice swimming, but you are free to do as you feel.
I hope that I have convinced you to look for plane tickets to experience this fantastically purifying ritual in Finland! Should you have questions, do not hesitate to ask me…. (and remember not to take everything I wrote too seriously!).
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