1st of the Month: White Rabbit!

White rabbit

Do you say  ‘White Rabbit’ on the first day of the month?  In my family we have  this tradition. We do it as a fun competition. The first one to say it wins.  (We don’t actually win anything, we just Win — if you remembered first you are the smartest smart guy. )

I got to thinking about this tradition and wondered if anyone else practiced it, where it came from, and if it make any sense at all. Actually, it always made a lot of sense to me, because as an Alice in Wonderland fan, I knew Alice found all her adventures by  following the White Rabbit!

4382428505_6da9eb8e6e_z

I did some sleuthing and found out that the rabbit utterance  apparently  started out as an ancient Celtic tradition.  It was used  at the beginning of the lunar month to honor the sacred animal. This animal was not exactly a rabbit, but something other-worldly that resembled a rabbit.  The image of this rabbit-like animal could then be found in the full moon.

haremoon 2

In some parts of Scotland and northern England, children are still taught to say ‘White Rabbit’ at the beginning of the month as a magic charm to attract money through unexpected means.

This quote comes from a ‘Notes and Queries’ book dated 1909:

“My two daughters are in the habit of saying ‘Rabbits!’ on the first day of each month. The word must be spoken aloud, and be the first word said in the month. It brings luck for that month. Other children, I find, use the same formula.”

Another tradition holds that ‘Rabbits, rabbits, rabbits’ should be spoken as the first words and the beginning of the month, and ‘Hares, hares, hares’ as the last words at the end of the month.

Interestingly, the tradition was also adopted by RAF bomber aircrews in WWII, who believed uttering ‘white rabbit’ as their very first words upon awakening would keep them from harm.

I found this quote from the 1922 novel  ‘Solomon in all his Glory’ by Robert Lynd:

“Why,” the man in the brown hat laughed at him, “I thought everybody knew ‘Rabbit, rabbit, rabbit.’ If you say ‘Rabbit, rabbit, rabbit’—three times, just like that—first thing in the morning on the first of the month, even before you say your prayers, you’ll get a present before the end of the month.” 

So this month I am going to be the first to say White Rabbit.   Maybe I will even get a present 🙂

Try it and let me know if it works for you!

“Never underestimate a great superstition.”

 

 

Advertisements

9 comments on “1st of the Month: White Rabbit!

  1. Garbhchu says:

    This is fascinating! I’ve never heard of this tradition before, but I’ll be trying it on the 5th to be sure since that’s the day of the new moon. I wonder if it’s related to the lunar charms found in Carmichael’s books — same tradition but without the rabbits.

    You mentioned early in your post that it was an ancient Celtic tradition. Can you pass along where you found that? I’d love to see what else they say about it!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Joe says:

    I love the page, immediately it sets the tone you;re conveying, in the manor of exclamatory narrative, setting the tone, brilliantly done, I know the exact person who along with myself will love all you convey. Well done, and thank for for the love.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Vicky V says:

    You brought back a few memories with this lovely piece. Hopefully I can remember to honour the lunar rabbit next month 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Must remember this for next time! One can always do with a little extra luck.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s