The Turkish bath, also known as hamam or hammam, is one of the ancient world's most widely exported customs. The tradition of the Turkish bath was born generations ago, adopted from Romans and Byzantines and then perfected by the Seljuk and Ottoman Turks and has continued even until today. A perfect way to unwind after a busy day Touring.
The tradition of the Turkish bath extends far back, to a time before Turks had reached Anatolia. When the Turks arrived in Anatolia, they brought with them one bathing tradition, and were confronted with another, that of Romans and Byzantines, with certain local variants. The traditions merged, and with the addition of the Moslem concern for cleanliness and its concomitant respect for the uses of water, there arose an entirely new concept, that of the Turkish bath. In time it became an institution, with its system of ineradicable customs.
For the Turkish bath was much more than just a place to cleanse the skin. It was intimately bound up with everyday life, a place where people of every rank and station, young and old, rich and poor, townsman or villager, could come freely. Women as well as men made use of the "hamam", as the bath is known in Turkish, although of course at separate hours.
From the individual''s point of view, the hamam was a familiar place from the earliest weeks of life right up to its very end. Important occasions during a lifespan were, and in some townships still are, celebrated with rejoicing at the bath. The newborn''s fortieth day, the brides bathing complete with food and live music, and the Avowal are instances. The latter requires some explanation, for it involved the custom common in Anatolia of making a promise or vow, contingent on the fulfillment of some important wish. The celebration of this in the hamam was arranged and paid for by the person fulfilling his vow, and was open to one and all.
The hamam ceremony of mourning, on the other hand, was far different, but also widespread. The Hospitality bathing was simply the taking of one''s house-guest to the hamam for a wash. Then there were the Circumcision, Groom''s, and Off-to-the-Army bathing, and others besides. As we see, the whole culture of a people had the Turkish bath as one of its important nexuses.
The fame of The Turkish bath, then, resides in its bringing together many dimensions of the society''s culture to create a new phenomenon. The hamam has long been an institution in Turkey, with a deep-seated social character that is capable of shedding light on many aspects of Turkish life.