March 13 is National Open an Umbrella Indoors Day! We all know the age-old superstition that opening an umbrella indoors will bring you bad luck, and today is meant to put that superstition to test!
Most of us go through life not questioning the origin of the superstitions we choose to go along with or laugh at, but it’s possible that this particular superstition got its start in ancient Egypt. Egyptian nobility or religious leaders used umbrellas to shade themselves from harsh light of the sun and to keep at bay evil spirits that might have done them harm. Opening an umbrella inside, or even in the shade, was thought to be unlucky because it was a sign of disrespect toward the God of the Sun. It is also thought that perhaps this superstition was developed in 18th century London. At this time, large waterproof umbrellas with metal spokes came into popularity. Because of their size, they were awkward to open, and when opened inside could break objects or injure others. It was thus dubbed unlucky to open these large contraptions indoors.
Today’s unofficial holiday was created by Thomas Edward Knibb of Frederick, Maryland in 2003. He created the day in an effort to defy the superstition and encourage people to test its credibility by throwing caution to the wind and opening your umbrella inside.
You can celebrate today by grabbing your favorite umbrella, making sure you are clear of any breakable objects or poke-able eyes, and opening it in an indoor space. Be sure to take note of any bad luck you have following your brave indoor umbrella endeavor so you can decide for yourself if this superstition is something you should take seriously or not!