Rabbity customs (orig. posted June 2002)

Posted by (Various posters) on August 10, 2002

Posted by TheFallen on June 07, 2002

In Reply to: More rabbits posted by ESC on June 07, 2002

: : : : Does anyone know why it is customary to say 'White Rabbits' three times on the first day of each month?

: : : One Pill makes you larger, one pill makes you small and the ones that mother give you don't do anything at all--Go ask Alice--I think she'll know.
: : : Whoops--wrong decade!

: : : I googled your phrase and here are some results:

: : : "To secure good luck of some kind, usually a present, one should say 'Rabbits' three times just before going to sleep on the last day of the month, and then 'Hares' three times on waking the next morning"

: : : "On the first day of the month when you wake up in the morning shout 'White Rabbit' and when you go to bed at night shout 'Black Rabbit' and you will have good luck."

: : : "The first words you say for a lucky month are 'White Rabbits.' If you can remember to say that twelve times a year, you'll have a very lucky year.."

: : : "I've heard about the hare running and a fire coming afterwards. In fact, an old character out this way used to reckon that they were bad luck to have run through your garden because you'd probably have your house on fire before the end of the year."

: : : "He that receiveth a mischance, wil consider whether he met not a.. hare, when he first went out of his doores in the morning." 1614 "How superstitiously we mind our evils!.the crossing of a hare of powre to daunt whole man in us."

: : :
: : : "It is lucky to meet a hare, but unlucky to see it run across the path. Should it cross the path of a wayfarer from right to left, his journey will be disastrous; if it scuds along the way before him, the issue of his affairs will be doubtful for some time; but if it crosses from left to right it is a lucky token."

: : : Before Christianity in the British Isles, the hare, like the cat, was thought to be a witch in disguise. This witch could only be killed with a silver bullet.

: : : Since rabbits and hares are born with eyes open, which is an erroneous notion, they supposedly had special powers over the evil eye.

: : : It is believed to be unlucky to meet either a hare or a rabbit, one variant stating that a rabbit which crosses one's path in front is a good omen and one which crosses behind is a bad one. In some English counties it is considered unwise to shoot a black rabbit, as it may be an ancestral spirit returning in rabbit-form; in Suffolk it was believed that white rabbits were witches, which is was also unlucky to shoot. Rabbits and hares were never mentioned at sea, as they were considered ill-omened words, and to meet one on the way to see was a very bad omen.

: : "Before Christianity in the British Isles, the hare, like the cat, was thought to be a witch in disguise. This witch could only be killed with a silver bullet." Bloody inventive, we ancient Britons were... *grin*.

: Very.

: WHITE RABBITS ON THE FIRST OF THE MONTH - "In some parts of Lancashire and the adjacent counties, it is unwise to shoot a black rabbit. This is because they were once believed to be ancestral spirits returning in that form. In Somerset, white rabbits are said to be witches. That anyone really believes this now is improbable; nevertheless, white rabbits are not popular as children's pets, and they are usually left severely alone, and are not shot. A luck-bringing custom found all over Great Britain is to say 'Rabbits' or 'White Rabbits' once or three times on the first day of the month. It must be said early in the morning, before any other word has been uttered, otherwise the charm loses its force. In some districts it is considered necessary to say 'Hares' or 'Black Rabbits' when going to bed on the night before, as well as 'Rabbits' or White Rabbits' in the morning. If, however, the speaker becomes muddled and says 'Black Rabbits' on rising, bad luck will follow. The looked-for result of all this is variously given as general good luck during the ensuing four weeks, or the receipt of a gift wit hin a few days." From the Encyclopedia of Superstitions by E. and M.A. Radford, edited and revised by Christina Hole, Barnes and Noble Books, 1996. First published in 1948.

: My first word every morning is usually expletive deleted. So I would never have any luck. But seriously. Do people all over Great Britain say "rabbits" on the first day of the month?

Not outside State-run institutions for the criminally insane, we don't.