Hammam has been the meaning of cleaning throught the history. The old Arabic word Hammam means the spreader of warmth. The first Hammams dates to the Antique Romans and since then has been used by many cultures. The Turkish Hammam as used in the classical sense diverse in it’s internal but there are traditional parts that never changes. The main idea in the Hammam is, to use the steam and hot water to cleanse the body and to create a sensual relaxing.
Hammams have diverted in their internal structures in cultural ways. Some contained a big chamber to be used by many people and some had many small private rooms. Some contained pools and some had a heated stone in the center. Some spring water based hammams even had the modern shower like structures with never ending water.
In the Ottoman Era hammam has been changed significantly to add more enjoyment and a culture. The hammams have been used to celebrate important milestones like births and marriages. The tradition still runs on the Turkey and the Middle East and people are using the Hammams for daily events.
Hammams mostly consists two or three parts. As a beginning you enter to an impressive room that is called Camekan or the warm room. After you undress and wear your Peştemal (special thin cloth) to cover your body and a nalın(wooden slippers) you start to heat your body and start to relax.
As a second part you have Hararet (hot room). That room is build to make the people’s pores of the skin open up and you will sweat a lot. After the sweating phase the tellak or masseur will take you and massage and wash you vigorously with a traditional soap with olive paste and often thin cloth. The dead skin cells are washed away with bowls of clean water. At this point you move to the side of the room where the water basins are. You will now receive an intensive scrub with a rough mitten called kese. Another extensive rinse follows after which you are ready to towel dry and enter the soğukluk, or cold room, to relax your body.
If you ever find yourself in the vicinity of an authentic Hammam in the far East, do yourself a favor and give it a try.