Stamp Expo: Sword lion mailboxes turn heads in Tainan

Two mailboxes adorned with sword lions -- a traditional emblem of southern Taiwan's Tainan City -- have become a popular tourist attraction in the historic city.

The mailboxes are located outside Anping Post Office, which is next to Anping Fort, a historic landmark in Tainan.

Naval fleets were stationed in Anping during the Qing Dynasty and legend has it that when the troops went home, they hung their lion face-decorated shields in front of their doors and placed their swords near the lion's mouth.

According to the legend, the shields and swords scared away thieves, and as time went by, more Anping residents began putting such weapons in front of their homes.

The belief was that the emblem of the sword lion -- the face of a lion with a sword in its mouth -- would ward off evil spirits and bring blessings and protection on the home.

The sword lion emblem can now be seen on houses, statues, buildings and streets in Tainan.

Su Ching-hui (???), head of the Tainan Post Office, said visitors to Tainan are encouraged to see the mailboxes, Anping Fort, Anping tree house and Anping Old Street and to sample the city's food specialties.

Source: Focus Taiwan