March is umbrella month

And with the widespread rain, here are a few things you may not know (or remember) about the umbrella.

So who invented the umbrella?

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Man first invented the umbrella in ancient China

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Ancient umbrellas

Ancient umbrellas or parasols were first designed to provide shade from the sun. The basic umbrella was invented over four thousand years ago. There is evidence of umbrellas in the ancient art and artifacts of Egypt, Assyria, Greece, and China.

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A Terracotta Army carriage with an umbrella securely fixed to the side, from Qin Shihuang’s tomb, c. 210 BC.

Umbrellas protect against rain…

… and parasols against the sun

The difference is the material used for the canopy. In China parasols made of rice paper are not waterproof.

And then there are the Brits with their brollies and bowlers

The umbrella in religion

ETHIOPIAN ORTHODOX PRIESTS STAND UNDER THEIR UMBRELLAS IN ADDIS ABABAEthiopian orthodox priests in their satin robes stand under sequined velvet umbrellas during the annual Epiphany celebrations called Timket in Addis Ababa. Timket is the greatest Ethiopian festival of the year and it commemorates the baptism of Jesus Christ in the Jordan River by John the Baptist.

Umbrellas as weapons of attack

John Steed in the television series The Avengers used an umbrella as a weapon.

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