The Ministry of Education and Culture nominates Finnish sauna bathing for inscription on UNESCO's List of Intangible Cultural Heritage. The Finnish Heritage Agency together with sauna associations has drawn up the nomination proposal, Sauna Culture in Finland. Minister of Culture Sampo Terho has signed Finland’s proposal.
The decision on whether the nomination is accepted will be received in December 2020.
In 2017, sauna bathing, along with 52 other traditions, was selected for the National Inventory of Living Heritage which the Finnish Heritage Agency maintains. Once inscribed on this list, an element can be nominated for inscription on the UNESCO lists. Preparation is underway for the next nomination, the fiddle tradition from Kaustinen.
For the purposes of the nomination, sauna culture as practised in Finland has been identified and defined according to the criteria set out in the Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage.
Sauna bathing remains a strong and living tradition widely practised in Finland.