Why is it bad luck to open an umbrella indoors? Is it a snub to ancient gods or just health and safety?
One suggestion links it to the Egyptian goddess Nut, also known as “coverer of the sky”. Man-made umbrellas, to shield their users from the sun, were said to have been crafted as a tribute to her – and were therefore as symbolic as they were practical, their use associated with nobility. Being able, or asked, to stand under one was an honour – and not one that should be violated.
A more practically minded explanation comes from 18th-century London, where foldable umbrellas were still a relatively new invention. These large and unwieldy metal-spoked brollies had a habit of violently springing open, making them likely to cause damage to belongings or people if opened in too close a proximity.
Prepared to risk Ancient Egyptian wrath and trust in the safety of a modern brolly? Mark 13 March in your 2019 diary: it’s National Open an Umbrella Indoors Day.