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Ah, isn’t it nice to listen to the gentle sound of wind chimes blowing in a light breeze? If you were a recent visitor to the Xiandu Park wind chime festival in China, you may not know what we’re talking about, because almost all of the chimes were stolen, forcing the planned month-long event to close down in less than a week.

Xiandu National Park, located near Jinyun City in the Zhejiang province of eastern China, is a pretty beautiful place, known for its rock formations, caves and myriad temples and palaces. However, it’s a little off the beaten path, so in an attempt to entice visitors, organizers decided to hold a month-long event in May, featuring wind chimes.

▼ We’d visit this park without having to be lured with wind chimes.

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A while back, around 1000 B.C., the Chinese were busy making cast-bronze wind bells, which over the next few centuries developed into the glass, bamboo and metal wind chimes we have today. Along the way, the chimes became significant pieces in religious and feng shui practices and are thought to bring good luck.

We have no sources that suggest it, but maybe stealing the wind chimes is a way to boost their luck power-level. That would at least give an explanation to why almost all of the 1,000 wind chimes on display at the Xiandu festival were stolen.

Witnesses report that the thieves were going so far as to climb up trees to procure their favorites, and even fished for them with makeshift rods. They seem to have been quite innovative!

So many wind chimes were stolen that the trees were left almost entirely bereft of sweet-sounding accouterments, with only a jingle here and there. Visitors late to the party were so disappointed with the exhibit they complained to the staff, who eventually decided that they had to shut down the whole festival, only six days into the month-long event. Yikes.

Perhaps there was a miscommunication somewhere along the line, which suggested that the chimes were free for the taking. Maybe some people witnessed one person steal a chime and it just set off a chain reaction of people thinking it was okay to take the chimes home as souvenirs. We may never know the root of the problem, but we bet if Xiandu puts this event on again in the future, there will be a bag check at the exit!

Sources: BBC News, The Sun Daily, South China Morning Post, Foreigner CN, Asian Wind Chimes, Special thanks to reader Xan for tipping us off about this story!
Images: What’s on Ningbo, That’s