It’s hard to imagine life in Russia without the wonderful benefit of a true banya or steam bath! This is not only the place you to go clean your body and relax, but it is also where you open your soul and talk freely about anything with your friends and relatives. As we say: “Баня – мать вторая: кости распарит, все дело поправит” (The steam bath is like a second mother: the steam will ease your bones and render all matters easier).
Before entering the bath, don’t forget to wish everybody “Лёгкого пара” (May your steam be easy).
“В баню идёщь – пара не бойся” (Go to the steam bath, don’t be afraid of the steam). Everybody knows that “Хорошая баня, лучше сытного обеда!” (A good steam bath is better than a copious meal!) or that “Баня без пара, что щи без навара” (A banya without steam is like a cabbage soup without broth).
We say that “В бане мыться, заново родиться” (When going to the steam bath is like a new birth), you “Пойдёшь в баню чёрным, из бани выйдёшь красным” (Go to the steam bath black and get out of it red) but “Душистый пар не только тело, но и душу лечит” (The fragrant steam is good not only for your skin, it cures your soul too) and “Русского человека что парит, то и правит” (Russian who goes to the banya gets better).
A good steam bath wouldn’t be perfect if it was not for the Веник, a tied bundle of birch branches, soaked in warm water, and which is used to massage your body. Indeed, “Без веника баня не парит, а пар не жарит” (Without venik, the bath doesn’t steam, and the steam doesn’t heat). “Веник в бане господин” (The venik in the steam bath is the master) or “Веник в бане всем начальник” (Venik in the steam bath is our boss).
And now “С лёгким паром!!” meaning literary (Hope your steam was easy).