Did you know that the bat has traditionally been a lucky anima in China? The word for “bat” and “good fortune” are pronounced the same (“fu”). Due to their inherent auspiciousness, bats were often incorporated in tapestries, clothing, dishes, sculptures, paintings and even the imperial throne.
Similarly, it was common practice to have a “Five Bat symbol” in literature and art, because it symbolized the five earthly elements (air, earth, fire, metal, fire) and the five types of happiness (good luck, health, a long life, tranquility and wealth). It was also popular practice for individuals to gaze at bats at nighttime while enjoying their evening tea with friends, and for children to chase bats around, trying to catch them.
For more information about the bat’s role in Chinese culture, check out the following sites:
Bat Conservation International: http://www.batcon.org/index.php/media-and-info/bats-archives.html?task=viewArticle&magArticleID=536
The Chinese Bat: http://www.ontis.nl/articles/speleo-articles/1/Chinese%2520Bat.pdf