A Fresh Look at International Bath Day

14 June 2018

In our busy daily lives, most of us are thankful for a quick and reviving shower, with few people taking the time to enjoy the pleasure of a hot soak in the tub. But while we may be saving time are we missing out on something else? Not only are baths excellent for relaxing and unwinding, but because they are a place of mindful rejuvenation they can also be the catalyst for great discoveries and decisions.

Brilliant Bath History

Eureka! The Amazing Origins of Bath Day

Throughout the ages there is a long history of momentous baths! One of the most ancient, and famous, of these is the origin of International Bath Day. Legend says that it was on this day (14 June) over 2200 years ago, the Greek mathematician, physicist, engineer, inventor and astronomer Archimedes enjoyed a contemplative bath. We like to think with bubbles. While he prepared the bath, he mulled over a problem that had been set to him by Hieron, the King of Syracuse: the king had a new crown that he suspected was not made of pure gold, despite what the goldsmith had claimed when he presented it to the king. Scandal! There weren’t exactly analytical machines for testing metal back then, so Archimedes had to rely on his own powerful brain to find a solution to the problem. But alas, he was well and truly flummoxed! Deciding to take refuge in a revitalising tub to ponder the problem, he ended up discovering so much more.

Archimedes noticed that when he got into the bathtub, it caused water to spill over the edge of the tub. With his brilliant mathematician brain he soon figured out that the amount of water that spilled out of the tub was proportionate to the weight of his body that was going into the tub. Archimedes used his knowledge that gold was heavier than other metals to realise that he could check if the goldsmith may have substituted other common metals for some of the gold in the crown, by measuring how much water spilled out of the tub in comparison to objects made from different metals versus pure gold.

Archimedes was so excited that he leapt into the air with an almighty ‘Eureka!’, and, forgetting that he was still undressed, dashed all the way to the king to let him know his discovery. And that very important bath is still celebrated today, as International Bath Day.

Historic Bubbles

Other famous bath-takers include the English Prime Minister Winston Churchill (in office during the critical war years of 1940 to 1945 and again from 1951 to 1955), who took very long and hot baths daily. Not only did he consider the baths important to his well-being, but Churchill often conducted business and made decisions directly from the tub! His secretary would sit just outside the bathroom, portable typewriter on her lap, or sometimes he would even hold meetings from there.

Bath by Name…

We also want to give a shout-out to the English town of Bath on their namesake day. With a rich history, including ancient Roman occupation and the establishment of their public baths, we can only hope that there are a few Bathians right now, enjoying their hot bath waters, as they sip their famous hot-spring water and reading a Jane Austen novel.

Making the Most of your Bath Today

Baths are synonymous with relaxing and letting the competing thoughts and pressures of daily life dull down to white noise, so it’s hardly surprising that they can bring a greater sense of peace and clarity.

If taking a bath solo, set aside some time to allow yourself to enjoy the experience without feeling rushed. Choose what you best like to add to your bath – whether it be oils, bath salts, or the classic joy of bubble-bath gel and while the bath is filling, arrange other comforts within easy reach: a towel to dab at your face and to use to wrap snuggly around you when leaving the tub; a glass of water (securely placed, or in a non-breakable plastic cup); any little snacks you might want; a good book or magazine to dip into; or perhaps some safely burning candles and dimmed lights, to add to the relaxing atmosphere. You may also want to add some relaxing music, as long as it is safely away from the water. Finally, hang a “Do Not Disturb” sign on the bathroom door so you can relax in peace. Remember, a happy and revitalised you benefits everyone.

Rub-a-dub-dub: Making the Most of Children’s Bath Times

While it may not always feel like it when trying to wrangle little ones into the tub, the bath can also be a great place of discovery and learning for little ones, too. With just a few simple bath toys or cups and containers, kids will play with the water and naturally learn basic physics such as empty versus full, floating versus sinking, and cause and effect.

Why not add another layer of fun and learning to the mix by introducing some bath books to this special time? Kids will love the novelty of enjoying a book in the bath without worrying about whether it gets wet, and it’s a great way to combine reading, play, learning and clean-up time.

Hinkler Books’ First Steps series includes two wonderful and educational bath books for little ones: Let’s Find Colours and Let’s Count. Perfect for bath time, these delightfully puffy books are filled with bright, fun pictures to help your child learn about colours and numbers. The water-resistant pages mean that they can be used time and time again amidst the suds. The adorable illustrations are designed to engage and delight young children as they are introduced to early learning concepts, and the sturdy pages are perfect for little hands just beginning to explore the world around them.

Make the Bath your Own

However you enjoy your bath, do it to the full this International Bath Day. What are your tricks and tips for the perfect bath experience? Does it involve bath bombs, rose petals, or a cold exhilarating dip?

Let us know! Use #HinklerBooksInternationalBathDay to share on social media.