Superstitions pay a surprising degree of interest to umbrellas, around which several curious beliefs persist. Opening an umbrella indoors is, of course, absolutely taboo, as this will bring bad luck to the person concerned and possibly also to the rest of the household (though some claim that it is all right so long as the umbrella is not then raised over the head). This well-known tradition might have its roots in the use of umbrella-like sunshades in the Far East, where royalty alone had the right to use them (the umbrella only came to be widely adopted in England in the late eighteenth century). Alternately, the connection between the original sunshades and the sun evolved into the notion that it was unlucky to open an umbrella anywhere that the sun ray’s did not fall, as this might offend the sun itself. It is also unwise to open an umbrella out of doors when the weather is fine because this is reputed to cause rain.
Other superstitions claim that umbrellas should never be laid on beds or tables and if dropped must be picked up by someone else (women who pick up their own umbrellas will never find husbands). Gifts of umbrellas are also thought to be unlucky and sailors have a prejudice against having them on board a ship, especially if the umbrella happens to be black.
There you have it. Remember, don’t accept umbrellas as gifts and don’t give them as gifts. Although, what if someone is out in the rain and you just want to help out by giving them the umbrella? And just because I loved this animation short when I first saw it, here’s The Blue Umbrella:
And the Giveaway!