Wednesday, January 2, 2008

"Rabbits, Rabbits, Rabbits"!

Bunneh by AmandaWhile at work this past Monday (New Year's Eve Day) the topic of the superstition of saying "rabbits, rabbits, rabbits" on the first day of the New Year to insure good luck throughout the rest of the year came up. One of the nurses that called to schedule a patient's transport out of the hospital mentioned it to one of the schedulers I work with and she mentioned it to the rest of us.

Jen said she had never heard of this particular superstition; I said that I recalled hearing about it but thought that it applied to the first day of any month and not just the first day of the New Year. Problem is - I have never been able to remember to say it so I'm not sure whether it brings good luck or not!

For those who are not familiar with the "rabbits, rabbits, rabbits" superstition - it's a piece of folklore with an unknown origin and is related to the broader belief of carrying a rabbit's foot for good luck - which, of course, is never lucky for the rabbit itself! There is some belief that this superstition initiated in England during the 1200's though it didn't appear in print until 1420. No matter when it originated, it's been around for a long, long time and has naturally taken on several different incarnations.Bunneh by Amanda

Around 1920, one of the earliest referenced usages was to say “rabbits” three times before going to sleep the last night of the month and then “hares” three times first thing upon waking; a few years later, it was simply three “rabbits” in the morning with no “hares” at all.

Another incarnation is believing that the effect is stronger on one's month of birth or making “rabbit, rabbit” be the last words said on the last of the month and the first words said on the first of the month

Traditions also extend to saying on the first of each month: “A pinch and a punch for the first day of the month; white rabbit!” Upon saying it, you naturally pinch and punch the person you said it to but if you omit the "white rabbit" part, the recipient may counteract by saying "A flick and a kick for being so quick" and then give you the same.

Bunneh by AmandaI guess there's no particular right or wrong way when it comes to superstitions, especially ones with no set-in-stone documentation, and I guess there's also no harm in participating in them either as long as they're simple little superstitions like this one. The trick is just remembering to do them! As I said, my problem has always been that I just don't remember in time.

When I woke up on Tuesday morning one of the first things I thought of (other than "why am I waking up so early when I stayed up way too late with the girls??") was our talk at work about "rabbits, rabbits, rabbits" so I spoke the words aloud to my empty bedroom. Hopefully saying it out loud just to myself as the first words spoken for the day fits at least one of the variations as I could really use some good luck! I'll have to keep you posted as to how things transpire for 2008!

So, anyone else had any experiences with "rabbits, rabbits, rabbits" or maybe the variation of "moose, moose" on the second day of the month when you forgot to say "rabbits, rabbits, rabbits" on the first day? Or perhaps you know of another incarnation of this one? Superstitious minds wanna know!

*"Bunneh" artwork by Amanda


  1. Love the "bunneh!" But I've never heard about the trio of rabbits! Interesting lore. I'll have to try it and see if my computer stays well!

  2. My mom was big on superstitions...but I've never heard that one before. Now I have to wait all year to try it!

  3. I thought it was 'White Rabbit' on the first of April? Or was that something to do with 'Alice in Wonderland'? Anyway, I forgot to say it whatever it should have been. I had a good old 'rabbit'this past week with my good friend Queenie - that's the best sort of 'rabbit'! :)

  4. Because you didn't make this up I feel comfortable in saying, "That's ridiculous"

    Sorry, but it kinda is...

    (Though this is coming from a girl who recently looked up love spells! LOL)

  5. Anonymous10:02 AM EST

    LOL! Almost as bad as the laundry superstition I wrote about!

    So what is it for day #3? I need all the luck I can get...LOL!

  6. Interesting, but I never heard of it either. I'm not very superstitious either. Have a great day Linda. :)

  7. Well on FEbruary 7, you might want to start the day with one of my favorite swear words: Rats, rats, rats!!! Chinese New Year for the Year of the Rat begins.

  8. I had never heard of this one either so as a follow up checked Wikipedia which has a long rabbit, rabbit reference.

    The beautiful Gilda Radner used to say "Bunny Bunny" upon waking on the first day of every month. Alan Zweibel used her variation as the title of his book recounting their friendship.

  9. I do know people who say "rabbit rabbit" first thing on the first of each month. (I think they are all from the south....laughing)

  10. I've never heard of this rabbits, rabbits, rabbits superstition.

  11. Hmmmm...this "rabbits" superstition is a new one on me and I would have thought I'd have come across it in my many years as a reference librarian. Oh well...I guess you learn something new everyday.

  12. Thank you so much for writing about this, Linda.
    My grandmother, who lived in Connecticut her entire life, always made sure to say "rabbit" first thing in the morning on the first day of the month. So naturally I continued the tradition with my own family. Unfortunately I forgot on Tuesday morning!
    I hope that doesn't portend bad luck this month.

    Never heard of saying "rabbits" three times in a row, though.

  13. I'd not heard of this superstition before your post, Linda. But I bet it originated with Elmer Fudd and had something to do with Bugs Bunny!!

  14. Hi from Scotland - yes, we say "White Rabbits" on the first of every month...supposed to be said before saying anything else, including getting socks off your teeth...Not sure why it's only white rabbits though as oppose to black rabbits or black-and-white-rabbits-with-pink-noses..Tx

  15. I guess you could say I am superstitious but I have never heard this one.

    Man, I've missed this place. Sorry... Happy New Year sweetie.


  16. I didn't know about this. I was a little superstitious when I played football...most athletes are.

  17. Never heard of this one, but that was an interesing comment about Gilda Radner, what a funny lady she was!

  18. New one on me and I'm a rabbit collector. I can say I've learned something (odd & weird) from my friend Linda today ;)

    Brain Foggles

  19. Anonymous12:19 PM EST

    I've not heard of this before.

    Thanks for sharing.

  20. rabbits, rabbits, rabbits
    If that's the answer, the question must be "what do you get when you rub two wild hares together?"
    rabbits, rabbits, rabbits

    Love the rainbow bunneh pic, too!


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