Dear ladies and gentlemen, umbrella and sun parasol are everywhere in our daily life. Do you know related etiquettes? Today, let’s learn together with our professor Guillaume about umbrella and parasol etiquettes!

Reading Guidelines

Umbrella etiquettes

Umbrella culture

Umbrella Etiquettes


Choose an umbrella

Choose the size of the umbrella that fits our figure.

Umbrellas under 21 inches are suitable for only one person or for petite ladies.

Umbrellas of 22-25 inches are the most common one, it could be used for one or two persons.

In terms of folding umbrella, the shorter the length of the foldable rib, the less space it would take for storage and more convenient for carrying.


open an umbrella

When opening an umbrella, we may slowly open the umbrella towards the direction where no one is standing, and please make sure to keep certain distance from the people around us.


Hold an umbrella

When holding the umbrella, the umbrella should be raised at a suitable position. It should be at a height around 20 cm above our head.

Princess Kako held the umbrella with the etiquette at the ascension ceremony.


Hold an umbrella

When the direct sunlight comes, tilt the parasol slightly back so that it will not block our sight.

When the sun slants, hold a parasol in the direction of sunlight source. It may maximize the sunshade, and at the same time, your posture is more elegant and more beautiful.


Sharing an umbrella

If we are walking with someone without umbrella, how to share our umbrella?

When two people of same gender share one umbrella, the taller person shall hold the umbrella. When a man and a woman walk with one umbrella, it shall be the man who will hold it.


Carry an umbrella

When you carry your umbrella, don’t hold your umbrella horizontally. Since you may poke others.

When carrying a umbrella with a long shaft, men could hold the umbrella in a vertical direction. It may give the impression of a gentleman. And women can hang the umbrella hook on the wrist or hold the umbrella upright.

Hold umbrella with its point down


Carry a folding umbrella

Fold the leaves and hold the rope which is at the end of the umbrella.


Walk with an umbrella

To avoid umbrella crossing during walking, we may need to pay attention to umbrella height when holding it.

When someone shorter than us approaches, we may raise our umbrella so that they may pass in security.

If we are as tall as a person, the one with the larger umbrella should raise it. If our umbrella has the same size with his/hers, then we two may tilt both of our umbrellas our side separately.


Close an umbrella

When closing your umbrella, try to tend to keep it as low as possible so that the rainwater will falling down without splashing other people.


Place un umbrella 

When taking public transportation on rainy days, we need to fold our umbrella, take off our raincoat and fold it up before getting on the bus in order to avoid getting other people’s clothes wet. Do not put wet umbrellas and raincoats on passenger seats.

When visiting someone’s home on rainy days, our umbrella shall be left outside until it becomes dry  before we enter the door. Then we may put our umbrellas in the umbrella stand in the entrance if there is.

When handling the umbrella, remember to keep our right hand dry for those social occasions, such as open the door with our right hand and shake hand with right hand when meet other people, etc.

Other  Tips:

About umbrella colour

The darker the umbrella is, the better the UV resistance it has. So, black, navy blue, and dark green have a better UV resistance than light blue, light pink, and light-yellow colours.

About Lifetime

When the parasol is exposed under the sun, its reflectivity of UV rays will decrease gradually. Normally, the lifetime of a parasol is about 2-3 years. So, when it is the time, a new parasol is waiting!

Umbrella culture

The umbrella indicates a distinctive social scale. 

In Chinese history, during the royal progress, the canopy over emperor’s head was considered as a guardian.

In the 7th century BC, the Assyrians used umbrellas to signify upper class.

Same for the Solomon dynasty in the 13th century AD.

In 18th Century, French ladies used umbrellas as one of accessories to show their remarkable elegance. Starting from this period, umbrellas was developing into an article with a lighter and more graceful image.

Above is all the information about the etiquettes of umbrella and of parasol that Guillaume may tell us today. If you have any further etiquette-related questions, feel free to let us know. Our professor will come back to your questions. We truly hope that everyone may use the umbrellas gracefully for ourselves and also for others in our daily life! Wish you have a great weekend!