Top interesting facts about umbrellas you didn’t know
The umbrella seems like a simple and not very interesting object. But did you know that umbrellas have a very rich history and interesting stories, that they were used as a deadly weapon or protection from the ancient gods? Here are top interesting facts about the umbrella that you probably didn't know.
1. The origin of the name is related to the shadow, not to the rain.
Most people think umbrellas are originally for protecting people from rain, but, that’s not how they first came about. They were originally used to shade noblemen in ancient China. This is why the origin of the name is related to the shadow, not to the rain.
The name ‘umbrella’ comes from the Latin word ‘umbra’ which means shade or shadow. The Japanese word for umbrella has an interesting story. The Japanese word for umbrellas is Kasa. A person under shelter = an umbrella!
Photo by Luiz Guimaraes on Unsplash
2. England? No. Umbrellas are originally from China.
Did you know that the Chinese invented the umbrella? The Umbrella was invented thousands of years ago in ancient China, and it was primarily used to give shade to noblemen and rulers, especially when traveling. The umbrella first spread across Korea and Japan, and then, with the help of the Silk Road, it reached Europe.
3. In ancient Egypt, an umbrella was a symbol of wealth.
The umbrella was often part of fashion details worn only by very rich people, and in ancient Egypt, it was a symbol of power. In ancient Egypt, the first parasols appeared over 4,000 years ago and were created to protect royalty and nobility from the sun. Back then, not everyone could afford a parasol. Only the powerful could shield themselves from the sun and Gods. Umbrellas were often unusual, exotic, and beautifully decorated.
4. Japan has the highest number of umbrellas per capita in the world.
People often think that people in Britain own the most umbrellas precisely because of the large number of rainy days in the year. Actually, it's not like that. According to a study done by the Global Umbrella Study, Japan has the highest number of umbrellas per capita in the world at 3.3, the world average is 2.4. Still, in the early 1880s, the Western-style umbrella was brought to Japan from the U.K.
Photo by Alex Block on Unsplash
5. Umbrellas were a symbol of femininity.
Umbrellas used to be reserved only for women. Before the mid-18th century, umbrellas were a symbol of femininity. Until this time, umbrellas were seen as a female fashion accessory in Europe. In the mid-18th-century, the founder of English Magdalen Hospital was publicly and frequently seen using his umbrella, so the umbrella ceased to be just a female fashion detail.
6. The dark history of umbrellas.
Umbrella superstitions have been around for thousands of years. Opening an umbrella indoors usually means bad luck, but it also dates back to ancient times. In ancient Egypt, this was considered bad luck because opening an umbrella away from the sun angers the sun deity Ra.
In fact, opening an umbrella inside can lead to injury, as you could accidentally stab someone in the eye. There were also injuries and even deaths attributed to umbrellas. In fact, in 2017 the magazine Inside Edition published an article on the death of a woman who was killed by a flying beach umbrella.
7. A lethal weapon.
Did you know that umbrellas were used as offensive and defensive weapons? French President Nicolas Sarkozy was the first who started using Kevlar-coated umbrellas as a part of his security measures. Also, umbrellas were used as a lethal weapon a few times.
In 1978, Bulgarian journalist Georgi Markov was waiting for a bus in London on his way to work at BBC. He felt a strong sudden pain, and all he saw was a man picking up an umbrella. Later that night Markov developed a fever—and he died in the hospital four days later. It was discovered that he was killed with a part of the umbrella used to inject a ricin pellet, worn by an assassin connected to the KGB.
8. A super-powerful umbrella is the only umbrella you need.
You have certainly bought standard umbrellas more times than sneakers or jackets. A quality umbrella would last for several years, but it is always somehow easier to buy an ordinary few-dollars-worth umbrella every time it breaks down. It’s simply cheaper. This is wrong because everyone needs a super-powerful umbrella, like The Raintorch.
The Raintorch is a high-quality umbrella featuring a handle with a built-in flashlight! With such an amazing umbrella, you will feel safer on rainy nights due to increased visibility (battery lasts: 192h). Also, this umbrella has a reinforced fiberglass & metal framing system designed to withstand high-speed winds. Moreover, it is easy to carry as it weighs less than 1lb, and the system one-click open/close means no more pinching fingers. Check out the Fall 2021 Breo Box to get this amazing umbrella and more cool gadgets this fall.
9. The color matters.
Transparent umbrellas are very popular in Asia now, who would want an ordinary umbrella anyways? Umbrellas are mostly a fashion detail today. There are umbrellas of various colors, designs, materials, and functions so that everyone can find something that suits a certain style. Back in 19th century England, umbrellas of green or blue silk were considered high fashion and were worn only by wealthy people.
On the other side of the world, in China and Japan, young people wore red umbrellas at weddings to ward off evil spirits. Today, floral, colorful, or funny umbrellas will brighten up a gloomy rainy day for everyone.
10. The most famous umbrella in the world.
Remember the black flying umbrella? Famous Disney heroine Mary Poppins had exactly the black flying umbrella, which is perhaps the most famous umbrella in the world. Throughout history, umbrellas of various celebrities or movie characters have become popular, as has been the case with Mary Poppins or the Batman villain, Penguin. The largest umbrella in the world is located in China, weighs 5.7 tons (5,700 kg), and covers an area of 418 square meters!
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