A journey towards relaxation and purification: the hammam or Arab bath in Morocco
If you remember the use and importance of the baths in roman civilization, the muslims, as an inheritance, also worship the body in these places as a purification practice. In the muslim culture, the arab baths are called “hammam”, a place whose purpose is to interact and spend a pleasant moment caring for the body.
Water is a symbol widely used in Arab culture due to its representation as a symbol of faith. Water, in addition to bathing, is a decorative element for Muslims and what is it like a “divine gift” that appeals to wisdom and purity.
For this reason, in addition to recreational use, special occasions are also often accompanied by this highly revered item, such as the hammam, which also becomes the setting to celebrate birth or marriage. However, the hammam is also frequented as a general rule among the arabs because many moroccans still do not have showers or hot water in their homes. That is why they usually go to the hammam once a week.
What do moroccans usually do when they attend the hammam? After we have put you in situation regarding the special meaning of the hammam we will ask you how it works and if it has differences with the Turkish bath. The answer is yes. These baths, which are characterized by their hot water that favors blood circulation, share a fire with a bread oven that usually has near these baths with the fin of sharing resources. The hammam is structured in a correlation of spaces in which the bather must go to dive at different temperatures.
The hammam route begins in a warm room and the first cleaning begins to remove the most superficial part of the dirt. Then it is passed to the warm room where the skin tends to sweat and the pores open in order to expel the dirt. Later, in the second warm room, a deeper wash is carried out using the exfoliating glove throughout the body to eliminate dead toxins. Someone may offer to wipe your back, a very common gesture in these spaces. Finally, the tour is completed with a cold room in which to rinse and return to room temperature.
Hammam practices can be exercised among the attendees or using the help of the workers, depending on the price you are willing to pay. In Morocco, three different types of hammam can be found. On the one hand there is the neighborhood hammam, which is frequented by the residents of a certain neighborhood and whose hours are differentiated between women and men; On the other hand, we find the private hammam, which is used exclusively by the owners of the house, and finally, the tourist hammam, which is not usually visited by neighbors and is focused on visitor demand.
A visit to the hammam will be an unforgettable experience due to the absence of these practices in western countries. It draws attention to the importance it receives in the Arab areas whose difference lies in social differences. Although it may be somewhat uncomfortable at first, at the end of the tour you will give me the reason that you will find a unique feeling of relaxation that, accompanied by a good moroccan tea and a massage, you will want to start again.