I had a customer come in to the Wild Birds Unlimited - East Lansing store that was fascinated by the wind chimes we sell. She asked how they worked and I thought that she was kidding. I told her they are very “environmental” and “eco-friendly” because they work with wind power.
Turns out she wasn’t kidding and had never seen chimes before. I felt a little bad that I misunderstood, but she liked my explanation about wind power. She was fascinated and bought a few different chimes.
And really, what do I know about wind chimes. I sell a lot at the store but don’t know their history.
The dictionary explains that the term wind chime is applied to a set of tubes suspended in a row or in a circle so they can be blown in the wind in a way that allows them to strike each other and create a random set of sounds. The tubes may be made of metal, glass, bamboo, stone, porcelain or shell.
The history of wind chimes is unclear; however modern chimes are thought to have originated with the Buddhists suspending wind bells on the corners of large pagodas to attract benevolent spirits in Asia.
In the 19th and 20th centuries the beauty and pleasant melodies of chimes made them popular across Western countries as a decoration. Today, they are widely used around the world and many people consider wind chimes to be good luck.