Bathing to us is a part of our everyday cleansing routine, but this was not always the case. To groups of people, this was an important and essential ritual. In other cases, it was something done for pleasure, and to still others, it was something that was hated and abhorred.
The natural hot springs was what the waters from the Roman baths in Bath, England were. People were convinced of the healing power of these hot springs. The Romans was fastidious about bathing. They probably put their baths to good use. Though unbelievable, the Emperors of Rome bathed seven to eight times a day.
The ancient bathhouses of Rome are famous. Our minds immediately go to the Romans when talking of the history of bathing. The Roman baths were supplied by 13 aqueducts.
This was at the rate of 300 gallons per person. A lot of water! The baths attracted hundreds of people every day. It served not only the purpose of cleansing, but also provided entertainment, in the form of sports.
There were baths of different kinds, each with a different name and the waters of different temperatures to suit the different needs. There were enough places for socializing.
Christians too, like the Romans, believe in the efficacy of bathing. The rationale behind this is that a soul must be immersed in water to attain peace for the soul. The level to which this immersion takes place depends upon the particular sect.
Bathing pools were found in the shrines of the ancient Greeks. These were filled with water from springs and were said to be blessed by the deity of healing. There were secret societies and the initiation of its members was associated with water.
In the ruins of Egypt, baths were discovered, from which we could infer that bathing was an integral part of their life. The Pharaoh bathed in the River Nile everyday.
There are many tribes who believe in a universe of water, and associate water with other purposes besides cleansing. They consider it a spiritual act. Others believe in water being part of a purification process to cleanse their spirits.
Besides the child baptism practiced by Christians, the people of ancient Japan practiced something similar and with similar overtones. Whereas in the modern Japan, families spend time together in the baths, and it is at these times, that familiarity is bred.