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Photographer's Note

My contribution to the very popular theme of umbrellas. The picture from Fenghiang. In fact, it was the entrance to the small but cosy hostel where we stayed. The girl was posing for someone else.

An umbrella or parasol is a folding canopy supported by wooden or metal ribs, which is usually mounted on a wooden, metal, or plastic pole. It is designed to protect a person against rain or sunlight. The word "umbrella" typically refers to a device used for protection from rain. The word parasol usually refers to an item designed to protect from the sun. Often the difference is the material used for the canopy; some parasols are not waterproof. Umbrella canopies may be made of fabric or flexible plastic.

The word "parasol" (Spanish or French) is a combination of para, meaning to stop or to shield, and sol, meaning sun. "Parapluie" (French) similarly consists of para combined with pluie, which means rain (which in turn derives from pluvia, the Latin word for rain). Hence, a parasol shields from sunlight while a parapluie shields from rain. (Parachute means "shield from fall".)

The word "umbrella" evolved from the Latin umbella (an umbel is a flat-topped rounded flower) or umbra, meaning shaded or shadow.
In Poland we call it parasol but we use it against rain. In China when you see parasols it means it is hot and sunny.
In all written records, the oldest reference to a collapsible umbrella dates to the year 21 AD, when Wang Mang (r. 923) had one designed for a ceremonial four-wheeled carriage.An even older source on the umbrella is perhaps the ancient book of Chinese ceremonies, called Zhou Li (The Rites of Zhou), dating 2400 years ago, which directs that upon the imperial cars the dais should be placed. The figure of this dais contained in Zhou-Li, and the description of it given in the explanatory commentary of Lin-hi-ye, both identify it with an umbrella.

Bigger beta picture

Another nice street in Fenghuang with red umbrellas is here

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Additional Photos by Malgorzata Kopczynska (emka) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 11541 W: 123 N: 29366] (138462)
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