Although the second half of March has had many sunny and warm days, it is National Umbrella Month and Thursday’s rainy weather provided a reason to break out the protective parasols.
According to nationaldaycalendar.com, National Umbrella Month was created in 2013 by Thomas Edward Knibb, who is also responsible for National Open an Umbrella Indoors Day on March 13. The website claims that the reason for celebrating umbrellas originates from the world realizing how underrated they are.
Lukas Hastings, a freshman biochemistry major, said the distance he walks in the rain is more determinant in his decision to carry an umbrella than the strength of the rain itself.
“I use an umbrella when I have to walk a good amount of distance in the rain,” Hastings said. “It doesn’t have to be super rainy for me to use an umbrella it just mostly depends on the distance I have to walk in the rain.”
Peter Martynowicz, a sophomore digital technology major, said that it has to be raining hard to grab an umbrella, partially because of a possible stereotype surrounding umbrellas, but also because he doesn’t have one.
“It’s gotta be like a downpour to use one,” Martynowicz said. “I feel like umbrellas are one of those things that aren’t embarrassing to use but feel embarrassing.”
Martynowicz also noted that while he doesn’t own an umbrella, Booth has them available to rent, but that he prefers hustling to his class.
“I do know the library has them to check out if need be,” Martynowicz said. “I’d rather just do a quick jog to class honestly.”
One of the reasons listed as “Why We Love National Umbrella Month” is that umbrellas can help to protect one’s skin from the sun’s rays.
“Studies have shown that carrying an umbrella around on a sunny day can help to minimize exposure to UV rays,” the website reads. “The color black typically does the best job filtering out the harmful rays, but unless you’re carrying around a clear umbrella, using something is better than nothing.”
Hastings said that while he hasn’t used an umbrella for this type of weather protection, he has noticed its popularity outside in warmer temperatures or environments.
“I’ve never tried to protect myself from the sun’s rays with an umbrella but I know a lot of people use it at water parks, pools and beaches,” Hastings said.
Acknowledging the popular rhyme about spring, Hastings wondered why March National Umbrella Month and not April.
“I’m surprised March is National Umbrella Month seeing as April showers bring May flowers is the saying, but if it is raining a good amount and I have to walk a good distance I’ll use an umbrella,” Hastings said.
Nationaldaycalendar.com also cited fashion as another reason to love National Umbrella Month, saying “Umbrellas aren’t only functional, but they can also make quite a fashion statement. These handheld accessories make for great props during photoshoots, and they often make runway appearances.”
Both Hastings and Martynowicz acknowledged the use of umbrellas as fashion accessories.
“I think umbrellas as a fashion accessory can only work for a few people but I fully agree with them because I think they look nice even in broad daylight for some people and how the umbrella looks,” Hastings said.
Martynowicz also said he thought that umbrellas were popular in Japan for their fashion potential.
“As fashion accessories they rock. I’m pretty sure they are very popular in Japan for that reason and they look awesome,” Martynowicz said.
According to a blog post by Steve Parker on insidejapantours.com, umbrellas are popular in Japan during the rainy month of June because it is too hot for raincoats.
Nationaldaycalendar.com advises those interested in observing National Umbrella Month to make their own umbrellas, host an umbrella charity drive or get creative with a photoshoot.
Ryan Meyer can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]