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The steamy art of Latvia's ritual saunas

Lying face down in deep snow, naked, in bone chilling sub-zero weather is enough to make anyone think twice. But such are the extremes required to penetrate the mysteries of the "pirts" - Latvia's little-known and complex interpretation of what is known in other parts of the world as the sauna, banya, hammam, Roman bath or Native American sweat lodge. For Juris Batna, owner of the Lielzemes -- literally, 'Big Strawberries' -- pirts complex 50 kilometres (31 miles) south of the capital Riga, there are no short cuts when it comes to the rituals of the Latvian bath-house.
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