Songs and Spirits Weave Through the History of Wind Chimes

windchimesThe soothing sounds of tinkling wind chimes are common in homes, gardens and on porches across the world.  But was there a greater purpose for these pretty ornaments?  Where they simply discovered by accident or handcrafted with care?  You may be surprised at the rich and intriguing history of wind chimes, from the Buddhist gardens of Asia to rural farms, logging lands and even coastal areas.  Their beauty and charm is almost legendary.

Original Spiritual Intentions

It is widely believed that although wind chimes were used in pre-historic cultures, they became essential decoration throughout the ancient Asian world.  Well before the 19th century, when chimes began to appear in the West, Buddhist temples and religious buildings were adorned with elegant wind chimes of all shapes and sizes.  Carved from wood or bone or cast from a variety of materials, chimes were decorated and hung from roofs, eaves and other overhead structures.  They would have made a deafening sound, used both to soothe and scare away, depending on who was listening.

Across Asia and into the Mediterranean, wind chimes were thought to draw kind and generous spirits.  In the Byzantine, Greek and Roman worlds the spirits held great power and could provide protection, luck and success.  Using wind chimes in the home as well as in religious buildings also became popular throughout China and Japan.  By the 19th century and into the 20th century the Western world had caught on and wind chimes had become a bearer of good fortune on this side of the world as well.

Weather Forecasting

As time progressed, people discovered that wind chimes also had a practical use.  When hung in certain spots and combinations, chimes could be used to predict the short term weather.  Sailors and farmers found them extremely helpful and relied on chimes as part of their network of weather watching.  With some knowledge of the regional climate, the direction of the wind could indicate likely temperature changes.   Wind speed was also a decent gauge of how quickly a storm or front could blow in.  Logging firms gathered this information to help organize work schedules and many homeowners set up smaller systems on their properties.

Today’s Wind Chimes

The wind chimes of today are still used in a spiritual sense, often in Feng Shui or to create a restful atmosphere in the garden or living space.  Music and vibrations combine to help release stress, calm the mind and stir up joy.  Available in a wide variety of musical tastes and appealing shapes, Outdora carries wind chimes to create that soothing area in your home.

A symphony of sound is delivered by Music of the Spheres chimes and the Woodstock Aloha wind chimes celebrate with a more tropical melody.  Found with decorative embellishments or in simple, clean styles, wind chimes can still be used to promote spiritual harmony.

Predicting the weather is a talent that must be honed, but hanging wind chimes in the yard is a good first step!


Diana Dart was born into the patio design business.  Working in her family contracting business for years, she’s now part owner and loves spending her time helping homeowners create an oasis in their backyards.  She’s also published countless articles about gardening, curb appeal and landscaping online and in various print publications.

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