It has been 3,000 years since the first parasol and umbrellas were invented in Ancient China, India, Assyria, and Egypt. During this time, they have been popular among religious ceremonies, referred to as “sun worshiping”, Egypt is especially popular for this. Originally, these items were owned by those in power and used as a status symbol while protecting important people because of the great costs of manufacturing them. Therefore, common among both religious leaders and royalty to protect from rain, and the sun’s heat. Therefore, religions worldwide began incorporating umbrellas within ceremonies, including Roman and Greek priests and from Asian Buddhism to 1st millennia Europe.
Today, there presence of umbrellas and parasols are still used throughout various religions. Umbrellas were used in various ceremonies by Catholic churches after Christianity raised once the Roman Empire fell. However, the Pope no longer carries an umbrella himself, the history remains a coat of arms. Typically, umbrellas used were designed from gold and red fabrics, and carried while partially unfolded. Although, the most common ceremony was of that when a new Pope assumed power, becoming the Catholic church’s new leader. Furthermore, they can be utilized in different liturgies if held over the Holy Sacrament.
Within modern religion, paper umbrellas designed by the Chinese is among the styles celebrated the most. These types of umbrellas are considered to be protective of evil spirits, bring good fortunes and longevity, while being used within various ceremonies of celebration, such as the rite of passage of boys, weddings, or funerals.
Buddhism is well-known for respectively adopting umbrellas. Buddhists considered umbrella’s as symbols of the Earth, providing spiritual support while also representing the universe’s center. Additionally, Buddhists have many parasol designs, decorating them using skirts that hang over, as domes represent wisdom, and compassion reflected by skirts. Meanwhile, the octagon design is a symbol of Noble Eightfold Path. Therefore, over the last 3,000 years parasols and umbrellas have been incorporated within various ceremonies. Furthermore, they are a significant aspect in mobile temples and processionals when used to show respect for different current dignitaries. Within Tibet, their religious leaders stand under silk, while a secular ruler stands below a parasol with feathers from a peacock embroidered into it. Umbrellas are so well respected, they are used for worshiping the Goddess Sitapatra, which is translated into “the white umbrella”.