The history of wind chimes dates back to prehistoric times in many cultures; however, their greatest and most elegant development was in east and south Asia, from Bali to Tibet and Japan. Buddhists attached thousands of elegantly decorated, cast, or carved wind chimes and wind bells to the eaves of sacred religious structures to create an almost deafening sound in the wind.In Asia and the ancient Mediterranean, wind chimes were used to attract benevolent spirits. In China and Japan they became decorative art in private homes as well as on sacred structures. In the 19th and 20th centuries their popular use spread more widely among Western countries. Today, they are widely used around the world. Many people consider wind chimes to be good luck.Wind chimes can have a healing effect on the mind and body. The resonance and vibration of the sound is thought to release stress and emotional blockages in the body and calm the mind, thereby expanding conscious awareness and connection with spirit. The positive sounds of wind chimes are thought to promote relaxation and reduce anger and tension. It is thought that wind chimes help enhance the mind/body/spirit connection bringing us a sense of peace and well being. It is believed that wind chimes can help bring balance and harmony to your garden and home; and they are often used in Feng Shui.Today, wind chimes are widely used as decorations to produce interesting background sounds in our homes and gardens. However, wind chimes were once used for weather forecasting. In the days before weather forecasts were available, weather-wise farmers, sailors and loggers made short-term forecasts with a knowledge of local weather conditions and a few observations such as wind speed and direction. In many areas, certain wind directions are often associated with specific weather conditions. For example, winds blowing off a large body of water may bring cooler temperatures in the summer. Northeasterly winds along the Atlantic Coast often signify a coming storm or one in progress; and westerly or northwesterly winds may indicate a cold front is approaching. If the wind comes from the north or northwest, it may mean a storm or colder weather is on the way. If the wind comes from the south, it may mean milder weather is coming. By strategically hanging several sets of wind chimes, you can hear the general direction of the wind; and the rate at which the clapper strikes the chimes can give an estimate of the wind speed.Throughout history, wind chimes have continued to be popular for their beauty and pleasant melodies.