In parts of Britain, the first day of any month is nicknamed “Rabbit Day”. Folklore has it that saying the words “rabbit, rabbit, rabbit”, “white rabbits”, or even “bunny, bunny” upon waking up on the first day of the month will ensure good luck. Forget to do it? Say “tibbar, tibbar” (yup, that’s “rabbit” backwards!) before falling asleep that evening.
There are endless variations on this, including saying “black rabbits” just before bed as part of the charm. A two-part ritual calls for you to say “rabbits, rabbits” as you fall asleep on the last day of the month, and “hares, hares” when you rise. By the way, those have to be the first words spoken in the morning!
Rather than doing it monthly, some people believe that saying “rabbit, rabbit” on the first day of the New Year is sufficient to bring luck all year long. Saying it on the first night of the new moon is supposed to be effective too. If it’s your birth month, then the luck is supposed to be stronger for you during that time. Some people recite an old British nursery rhyme, which goes like this:
Rabbits hot and rabbits cold,
Rabbits new and rabbits old,
Rabbits tender, rabbits tough,
Never can we have enough!
Here in North America there are many variations of the “rabbit rabbit” ritual, particularly on the East coast. In recent years, the practice has been updated to include tweeting “rabbit rabbit” on the first day of every month! This was a noted trend on Twitter in 2009.
Rabbits, lucky and unlucky
Hunters, farmers and irate gardeners would often refuse to shoot black rabbits for fear of bad luck. In the County of Kerry in Ireland, all rabbits are said to carry the souls of their ancestors. And in England, the appearance of a rabbit on or near a ship was an extremely bad omen, enough to cause a captain to delay or cancel a voyage. It’s been said that a fisherman would rather burn a net that had been touched by a rabbit than ever use it again. A story is told of young boys placing rabbit skins on boats to keep their fathers from going away to sea.
Are you a rabbit person?
According to the Chinese zodiac, it is the year of a person’s birth that not only determines personality traits, but the degree of success and happiness in life. Those born in the Year of the Rabbit (1915, 1927, 1939, 1951, 1963, 1975, 1987, 1999 and 2011) are considered to be the luckiest of all.
A “rabbit year” such as 2011 is said to be calm and relaxed for all of us, much needed after the ferocious “tiger year” it follows. And it’s considered to be especially lucky for “rabbit people”, enhancing all of your good qualities.
And if this isn’t your birth sign, don’t worry about your luck. It’s never too late to start saying “rabbit rabbit” !
Your turn – what superstitions about rabbits have you heard? Were you born in the Year of the Rabbit?
Your Chinese Horoscope 2011: What the Year of the Rabbit Holds in Store for You
2011 Year of the Rabbit Forecast for All 12 Chinese Astrology Signs
Posted by Dani Harper, AUTHOR