Hammam Rituals In The Ottoman Empire

By | November 15, 2020

In the Ottoman Empire, baths were places to both get cleaned and socialize, and from the bride’s bath to the Eid bath, they all had unique hammam rituals.

In the Ottoman Empire, there was a tradition of going to the bath on Thursday nights, on the eve of Eid, and other special days.

bath on Thursday

Those who went to the bath were first taken to a room heated by large barbecues, where they were served hookahs, and coffee. Then they would sweat, and get rubbed with coarse bath-gloves.

coarse bath-gloves

The bride bath, groom bath, soldier bath, Eid Bath, circumcision bath, puerpera bath, and grief bath had their own unique rituals.

bride bath

At the bride’s bath, the bride would prepare for the first night of marriage by getting rubbed with a coarse bath-glove, massage, and perfume. Women and young girls went to the bride’s bath, fancy, and wearing jewelry. In this atmosphere, where instruments were played, songs were sung and danced to; women would be on the lookout for single ladies for their sons.

brides bath ritual

A similar ritual was performed in the groom’s bath and the groom was prepared for the first night of the marriage by applying pleasant essences.

groom's bath

Wealthy families used to close the bathhouse for the puerpera bath. After eating at the puerpera’s house, the midwife, the mother, the baby, the mother’s family and other guests went to the bathhouse. Sometimes food was also eaten here, followed by “lohusa sorbet” and the entire day would be spent here.

puerpera bath

A soldier’s bath was a tradition to send soldiers to war clean.

soldier's bath

To start the Eids well-cleaned, people would go to Eid Bath before night.

Eid Bath

Grief baths were organized for the person who lost a relative. These would be without any music.

Grief baths

In the circumcision bath, the child to be circumcised would be cleaned by being scrubbed and massaged to relax.

circumcision bath

Baths were not just places to bathe. They were also places of socialization in daily life.

hammam rituals

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