Why do we say white rabbits on the 1st of the month?

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  • As we start a new month in the year, many people are wondering why do we say white rabbits on the 1st of the month?

    There are a lot of different traditions celebrated throughout the year – from Valentine’s Day and Pancake Day to Easter to name but a few, but there’s one ritual that many people swear by that starts at the beginning of the month and that’s using the phrase “white rabbits”.

    Whether you’re an animal lover or not, the furry friends could help you see the month through with joy as we look at what the phrase means and why we use it…

    Why do we say white rabbits on the 1st of the month?

    We say white rabbits on the 1st of the month because it is supposed to bring good luck for the rest of the month providing the phrase is said first thing in the morning BEFORE anything else.

    White rabbits are considered lucky creatures so this became a new way of welcoming the new month – including April Fools’ Day.

    But rabbits have not always been thought of as lucky. In the 19th century, for example, fishermen would not say the word while at sea in South Devon, to see a white rabbit in one’s village when a person was very ill was regarded as a sure sign that the person was about to die.

    What is the origin of saying white rabbits?

    The origin of saying white rabbits dates back as far as 1909 where it’s found in a British periodical book called Notes and Queries.

    The entry reads, “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.”

    Reports also claim the term was used by RAF bomber aircrews in WWII, who would say ‘white rabbits’ when they woke up to protect them from harm.

    And eventually, ‘white rabbits’ became your only means of defence from being pinched and punched back from those who prefer to say “pinch, punch, first day of the month” with the victim saying “white rabbits, no returns” which means they cannot be pinched back.

    What month do we say white rabbits?

    We say white rabbits on the first day of every month – according to superstition, the saying is supposed to give you good luck when you say it on this day BEFORE midday.

    But like with any tradition, it gets lost or changed along the way with some people believing different things.

    One confused white rabbit sayer wrote, “But I was told you could only do this when there’s an ‘r’ in the month. So you can’t do it in May, June, July or August. I don’t know what are the consequences if you don’t say it though!”

    Another agreed, adding “Yes there has to be an R in the month!”

    Meanwhile another added, “Not heard it said in any other month only for March. Could be wrong though……..”

    Three white rabbits meaning?

    Some people believe that if they 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.

    It is thought that seeing a white rabbit also marks the beginning of a life transformation or a new adventure, which opens your mind to new experiences. It can also symbolise a spiritual awakening.