Bat in Chinese Culture

Meaning and Symbolism

Chinese admiration for bats began thousands of years before Christ. Sometimes people view the Oriental world as an interplay between active and passive forces (male and female). Bats were thought to embody the male principle while the flowers and fruits are the female. These creatures was also often displayed with the peach, a popular female fertility symbol. The peaches, being one of man’s favorite fruits were first cultivated in China about 5,000 years ago. Before that, these fruits relied on bats for dispersal of their seeds.

In the Manchu period, bats were very popular and used everywhere. They were painted onto vases and walls, worn on the robes of the emperors and carved into furniture and thrones.

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Bats of a thousand years old were found in caverns of the hills in China which is silverish in color and are fed on stalactites. They attained very old age and that is believed by ancient scholars because bats lived deep in caves and also because “they swallowed their breath”. While the longevity of bat remains unsolved, researchers have confirmed that these animals far outlive other mammals of similar size. And because of this, bats have become a symbol of longevity.

Bat in Feng Shui

In feng shui applications, bat is used as a wealth cure and considered a symbol of wealth because the word bat “fook” has the same pronounciation as “prosperity” in Chinese. Bat also came to represent longevity and happiness, so it is an auspicious symbol in Chinese culture.

Bats are believed to have highly developed sensory parts for "smelling" out places with auspicious chi. So the next time these flying creatures come and nest in your house, rejoice because that heralds good fortune.

Groups of five bats is said to be more powerful formula for abundance and fulfilment of dreams. Five bats have long been used by Chinese artists to represent the five blessings: prosperity, long life, love of virtue, health and a trangquil, natural death. These bats are often bright red and encircle a stylized caligraph known as the symbol of prosperity. This popular bat motif can often be found embroidered on expensive clothing, this to imply that a person’s prosperity had resulted from virtuous lifestyle.

The bat is also sometimes depicted biting a golden coin and this plaque is enhanced by a mystic knot and red tassel. It is hung normally in the front portion of your house or at the maindoor or any chi entry points in order to invite wealth, health, good fortune and natural death at a ripe age. A pair of bats brings double happiness.

The bats can be hung in the West or Northwest to activate the element of metal for a happy family and mentor luck to gain support from helpful and important people. You can also place them in your living room, library, reading room, bedroom, kitchen, dining and business premise. Hang them on the outside of your door and window to ward off disease.



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