Bats in Taiwanese art

Bat art hangs in the corners outside the temple in Beigang.

Bats are found in abundance in Chinese and Taiwanese art. Around the corner from our hotel in Beigang, we visited a 400-year-old Temple dedicated to Matsu, the goddess of the sea. Matsu’s birthday is the 23rd day of the third lunar month and coincides with the return of the golden bats from their winter hibernation sites in the mountains. The town of Beigang celebrates both with a festival.

Bats adorn the top of the tin box.

Tin bat pot handle.


In this stone carving, we see a bat, the symbol for good fortune (I circled in red, click photo to see detail). And the elephant is the symbol for a long life.

Bats bearing gifts in the corners of this window in the temple.


Gilded bat on the ceiling cornice. (Click to see magnified).
Across from the temple, bats adorn the facade of a Chinese herbal hospital.