Why is the Bat a Good Luck Charm?

In both the United States and Europe, bats tend to be seen as signs of ill omen, evil creatures bringing misfortune and desolation.

After all, it's true... They are furry mammals that fly. They live in the darkness of caves and seem to move without being able to see. When we come across them, it is often at night. And then we've all heard of vampire stories, where these evil beings take the form of bats.

However, in China, these animals are not considered evil creatures but, on the contrary, as powerful vectors of luck and happiness.

For them therefore, the lucky bat is a reality... a reality whose mysteries we will today try to unravel together!

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Bats flying above a castle in a fantasy universe.

What does the bat symbolize in Chinese culture?

If bats have such a bad reputation almost everywhere in the world, it is undoubtedly because they carry certain diseases.

More than stories of vampires, haunted castles or blood-sucking creatures, the bat is above all a pathogenic and epidemic vector. When we think about it, the same kind of mechanism could have made rats or insects symbols of bad luck.

So why is the bat a good luck charm in Chinese culture?

In fact, the Chinese ideogram for it,(pronounced “Fu”), is surprisingly similar to that for luck or blessings. It would thus be a simple phonetic resemblance which would have created the image of the lucky bat... Amazing!

A whole bunch of Chinese doctrines have taken advantage of this flying animal to make it a symbol of success, happiness and prosperity. Feng Shui (on which we have built this entire section of our site ) for example advises its practitioners to place bat statuettes in their homes or to wear jewelry bearing their image.

Many Chinese amulets are also marked with the lucky bat in order to attract wealth to those who wear them.

Folklore or reality, everyone will have no opinion after trying.

If in any case Chinese culture and its secrets interest you, take a look at this other all-Asian collection on our site. There you will find lucky charms from ancient China.

Three Chinese lucky charms: a statue of a fu dog, two wu lu gourds and the jin chan

Enjoy the power of China

Thanks to these age-old magical tools

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The lucky bat and the five great blessings

Chinese Feng Shui also describes the bat as the expression of five great blessings.

Whether you wear our animal in the form of a pendant, a necklace or a bracelet: it doesn't matter, it is these five blessings that will make it powerful.

Known as “ Wu Fu ” (literally the five blessings), these are five goals that Chinese sages have been pursuing for millennia because they are deemed capable of bringing happiness to men.

When we also know that five is the Chinese's favorite lucky number, the subject becomes even thicker and our curiosity only increases!

Longevity, life expectancy

Certain Chinese philosophical texts dating from the 4th century BC describe the bat as a creature with surprising longevity.

We now know that they can live up to several decades depending on the species, which is already enormous for mammals of this size.

The Chinese saw it as even more resistant... and said that it could live up to a thousand years. Some have even made the lucky bat an immortal creature.

The notion of immortality is actually central to Chinese culture, with certain legendary figures believed to have achieved it. This is particularly the case of a certain Zhang Guolao, a figure from the Taoist pantheon represented by a large white bat.

Health

If the lucky bat represents longevity, it is necessarily also linked to health. (It’s clear, one doesn’t go without the other!)

Because they often hold their heads upside down, these creatures express good blood circulation, in which case they would not be able to hold this position for very long. In traditional Chinese medicine , certain parts of bats were used as a remedy.

According to the legend of bats living a thousand that we mentioned just before, some have even set out in search of these creatures, wanting to use them to prepare elixirs of immortality and other potions.

The wealth

The word bat thus resembles the word for luck in Chinese.

But luck is definitely necessary when we want to become rich. Whether it's winning the lottery, succeeding in business or finding a pleasant boss, we can never do too much to put chance on our side.

It is therefore not surprising that representations of bats are used by those who wish to get rich, by those who seek abundance.

Be careful, however: as this animal is harmless, it will not help you find fortune at the expense of others.

Ethics

Far from superstitions and other stories of bad luck, ethics occupies a special place in Chinese culture.

Defined as a kind of morality to be applied to society and relationships between humans, Asian ethics arise directly from the teachings of Confucius.

A great Chinese sage who lived several millennia ago, he notably formalized the rules of life in societies supposed to ensure the happiness of a people.

To explore the question of ethics and Confucian thought, here is an interesting work from the cairn.info site which should teach you more.

In short, because they live in groups in caves without ever fighting, bats are associated with great ethics.

A peaceful death

For the Chinese, experiencing a calm and peaceful death in old age is one of the main goals of existence. This is so true that such a death is seen as a blessing.

The idea would be to leave at the oldest possible age without feeling the slightest pain and with peace of mind.

As bats live in caves, they are said to guard the passage to the realm of the dead and the immortals. ..hence their association with this blessing.

Bats around a gloomy tree at night.

Five ways to represent the bat in China

We have seen the five blessings that the lucky bat can give you.

Just like the clover or the horseshoe, you can find several variations of the bat. To stay with this theme of the number five (which, let's remember, is also linked to luck in China), let's now discover five ways to represent it!

The red bat

If the number five and the bat are two great lucky charms in Chinese culture, the color red is also one. A color to attract luck... What's better to go with our flying friend?

Representing our animal in red is thus a way of combining their powers, of crossing flows and, perhaps, of creating a spatio-temporal fault giving access to a sphere of total and absolute consciousness.

In any case, using a red bat will be at your own risk.

To learn more about the symbolism of colors in China, here is a condensed article which talks about it quite well.

Bats and mountains

When bats are depicted in the mountain, it sends a clear message in Chinese art, a kind of blessing to the viewer in this setting: "May you live as long as these mountains and as lightly as the bat that flies in the air.”

Bat and sky

Also sometimes lucky bats are shown flying among the clouds.

Without going into too much detail, they represent the elixir of immortality, a potion believed to give eternal life and which many Chinese spiritual movements throughout history have sought.

This image sometimes also refers to the wish that whoever sees the work can experience happiness as light as the clouds.

Bat and sea

When bats are depicted with a seascape, this symbolizes the Taoist Isles of the Blessed.

A sort of paradise in the Taoist (and therefore Chinese) tradition, these islands are a place of happiness where human beings who have lived a righteous life come to spend eternity.

Immortality, happiness and bats: this is an astonishing mix to say the least.

Head down

Yes, bats spend a good part of their time upside down. It is therefore not surprising that many of their representations show us in this position.

The message to understand here will be that of reversal: to receive the five blessings of the bat, you should undoubtedly change, reverse certain things in your daily life that block you.

author picture(Cyril Gendarme)

Discover the author: Cyril Gendarme

Cyril Gendarme is a writer whose website "The Lucky Door" ("La Porte Du Bonheur" in French, his native language) has become a reference in the field of esotericism. Born in Belgium, Cyril has been attracted to the mysteries of the world since he was a child. When his interest in occultism was awakened, a particular subject caught his attention: lucky charms.

After years of study and in-depth research on esoteric traditions from around the world, Cyril decided to share his knowledge with the public through the internet. In 2019, he launched "The Lucky Door," a website dedicated to exploring lucky charms, magical symbols, and esoteric arts.

The Lucky Door is much more than just a showcase for those curious about magic, divination, or tradition. It is the result of Cyril's passion for researching and understanding the mysteries of the universe. Every piece of information available on the site testifies to his dedication to sharing his knowledge of the most hidden symbols and their unique powers.

In addition to his online work, Cyril regularly organizes workshops and conferences in different countries. His presence on social media is also highly appreciated, where he offers personalized advice and happily answers questions from his community.