On the first day of every month, there is an old tradition in some places that says it’s good luck to shout “Rabbit, Rabbit”. There’s also the superstition that having rabbit feet on your person can bring you good luck. What’s the source of these beliefs? These superstitions are unexpectedly connected with historical symbolism.

In many cultures, rabbits have significant symbolic meaning.  Rabbits are frequently associated with prosperity, abundance, good fortune, and fertility. Rabbit symbolism is consistent, unlike that of many other animals, which has distinct connotations in different cultures. 

We’ll look at what the rabbit symbolizes in various cultures and religions in this article. We’ll also look into the rabbit’s negative symbolism. 

The Symbolic Meaning of Rabbits

 

What Does a Rabbit Represent?

The symbology of rabbits varies by culture, religion, and in your dreams. Let’s look at what the rabbit symbolizes. 

Rabbit Eastern Symbolism: What Does the Rabbit Symbolize in Chinese Culture?

The rabbit is the fourth animal in the Chinese zodiac. It is said to be the luckiest of the twelve animals. Beauty, elegance, wisdom, and mercy are all symbols associated with the rabbit. Rabbits were also seen as symbols of the moon in ancient Eastern Chinese mythology, as they believed a rabbit lived on the moon.

According to this mythology, the Moon Goddess’s consort is the Jade Rabbit, also known as the Moon Rabbit. It never gets old and grinds plants with a mortar and pestle to prepare medication. In Chinese tradition, the rabbit is also a sign of good health and longevity. This may explain why so many rabbit parts are also used in Chinese medicine.

Rabbits, as you can see, are primarily considered positive omens in Chinese culture. This is not true of all Asian civilizations, though.

chinese rabbit symbolism culture

What Does the Rabbit Symbolize in Japanese Culture?

Rabbits have the same similar symbolic meaning in Japanese and Chinese culture. Nonetheless, there are some distinctions to take into account.

Rabbits are a symbol of good luck in Japanese culture, but they are also emblems of desire, ambition, and self-devotion. They can ascend hills much easier than they can descend due to their small forelegs. As a result, rabbits are seen as emblems of personal and collective progress.

In Japanese tradition, the rabbit also represents the moon. According to folklore, rabbits pound mochi on the moon, which is why the moon is frequently shown in themes. Rabbits get a plus reward from this technique of preparing sweet delicacies. They’re frequently associated with the New Year and the world’s rebirth as it enters spring.

Rabbits are frequently portrayed on kimonos, fans, and other decorations in Japan because of their pleasant associations with them. People can bring beauty, grace, and good fortune into their lives by channeling the rabbit’s spirit.

In Chinese and Japanese culture, there is one significant variation in rabbit symbolism. Rabbits and hares are seen as tricksters in Japanese society, despite the fact that they are predominantly positive in Chinese culture. In contrast, the symbolism of rabbits in many European cultures is more in tune with this dualism.

What Do Rabbits Symbolize In Native American Culture?

Many diverse legends and myths about rabbits were created by Native American civilizations. They were usually depicted as tricksters, guides, or even Gods.

A common belief among northeastern tribes is that rabbits are tricksters that are cunning, witty, and deceitful. On the other hand, rabbits are symbols of fertility and abundance for many southwestern tribes and Central American Native civilizations. 

Rabbits appear in a slew of Native American folktales. They hold a unique place and have extreme significance in Native American culture. 

One of the nine animal totems is a rabbit. The myth of the Rabbit and Eye Walker is widely used to explain the origins of the rabbit totem in Native American cultures.

Regardless, the rabbit is a symbol of sensitivity and shamanic power. This is due to rabbits’ exceptional perceptive and intuitive abilities. The rabbit, like many totem animals, is a symbol of positivity, representing inventive problem solving, fearlessness, and quick wit.

What Do Rabbits Symbolize in Central American Culture?

Rabbits have various symbolic connotations for Central American indigenous people. Rabbits are thought to represent fertility, good fortune, and intelligence. 

The Aztecs, on the other hand, had a different opinion of them. Rabbits were associated with the alcoholic drink pulque in Aztec culture. As a result, rabbits were associated with inebriation and festivity.

Bunnies were also associated with promiscuity since they were extremely fertile and abundant animals. Most other depictions of rabbits are symbolically positive, so this slightly gloomy look stands out. 

Despite the apparent contrast, the belief corresponds with most people’s perceptions of rabbits. Tenderness and promiscuity, productivity and fertility—these terms are not interchangeable, yet they are linked.

In any other species, the balance between fertility and gentleness, promiscuity and grace, ferocity and timorousness is difficult to discover. This is why the rabbit is such a powerful symbol.

Rabbits across the world symbolism

 

What Does a Rabbit Mean In Celtic Mythology?

Rabbits and hares are seen as magical beings from the Otherworld in accordance with Celtic legend. It was thought that they had the ability to shapeshift and wield enormous power; therefore, injuring it would bring bad luck.

Rabbits were revered for their power and speed, and it’s thought that they were also associated with the moon.

The rabbits’ circles were associated with the moon cycles, as well as femininity and fertility, by the Celts. People would place a rabbit skin under the bed to encourage fertility and abundance with their sexual activities.

Rabbits were thought to be messengers for the underworld realm, carrying messages between the living and the dead because of their tight affinity with the ground. They were employed in Celtic shamanic ceremonies by inspecting their tracks and rituals.

What Does a Rabbit Mean In African Culture? 

The spiritual significance of a rabbit crossing your path can be found in African mythology, where it is thought to be a messenger of bad luck. Another negative element is depicted in the story in which the rabbit is a celestial messenger sent by the moon to grant humanity the gift of immortality. 

The rabbit spirit guide, because of its mischievous nature, accomplishes the polar opposite and delivers death to Earth. The moon punishes him by hitting him with a stick and splitting his lip after learning of his deeds. In the hereafter, it’s stated that you will see a rabbit crossing the dead. 

What does it mean when you see a rabbit? Is seeing a rabbit considered lucky or unlucky? Despite the presence of trickster activity, the African people see the metaphorical meaning of a rabbit positively—it’s described as having a wise and loving spirit.

The fortunate rabbit’s foot is an element of this culture, having roots in Hoodoo, a religion combining witchcraft and magic. This lucky charm must be constructed from the rabbit’s left foot, which was captured in a graveyard during the full or new moon.

Rabbits across the world symbolism

 

Rabbit Symbolism in Religion

Rabbit Meaning and Symbolism in Christianity 

Despite its association with Easter, the rabbit meaning in Christianity is hotly debated. Rabbits are considered lucky creatures in most Western European civilizations—and, by extension, in the American communities that sprang up as a result of their migration. 

They can represent fruitfulness, elegance, or even kindness. Many Christians, on the other hand, believe that they should not be associated with Christianity because of its importance in some pagan religions.

Rabbits are spiritual messengers in many pagan religions, going between the human realm and the underworld. They also spring messengers, goddess companions, and powerful emblems of fertility and familial love. On the other hand, rabbits have very few intersections with Christian mythology and symbolism.

What Do Rabbits Represent in the Bible?

Rabbits are rarely referenced in the Bible, and when they are, it’s not in a positive light. Rabbits are forbidden to be eaten by humans, according to the Bible. 

“You may eat any animal that has a split hoof, divided in two, and that chews the cud,” and “The rabbit chews the cud but doesn’t have a split hoof so is unclean.”  

Despite this, the Easter bunny is inextricably linked to the Christian celebration. After all, the Easter bunny is taught to children from an early age. Of course, the Easter Bunny isn’t mentioned in the Bible. Many people are perplexed as to why rabbits are so closely associated with Easter as a holiday.

The Origins of the Easter Bunny 

It’s impossible to say for sure when this ritual began. It is, nevertheless, astonishingly similar to a creature from German folklore. The Osterhase, also known as the Oschter Haws, is a springtime egg-laying hare. Children in Germany would construct nests in which this species might safely deposit its eggs.

The first mention of an Easter Hare was in 1682. It was discovered in work by Georg Franck von Franckenau, who wrote of ‘Easter Egg hunts’ taking place.

This was then linked by Jacob Grimm to pre-Christian religious rites, but this has been extensively disputed. Whatever the case may be, the Easter Bunny is most likely to have originated in Germany.

This practice crossed the Atlantic in the 1700s as a result of a wave of German immigration to the United States. The Osterhase gradually became a component of Easter celebrations as the habit expanded across America.

Lent

Another reason bunnies have become associated with Easter is their connection to Lent. This is notably true in Christian practices in Western Europe. A 590 AD mistranslation by St. Gregory of Tours led to a later misunderstanding:

Specifically, that Pope Gregory the Great had issued a papal order permitting the consumption of lauric (newborn bunnies) during Lent. There has never been a record of such an injunction. Due to this misunderstanding, several monks began to establish and maintain rabbit warrens. This made it possible to eat the ‘delicacy’ during Lent.

The myth or anecdote regarding Pope Gregory would subsequently be proven to be false. Instead of eating rabbits during Lent, he is known for domesticating them.

 

What Do Rabbits Symbolize In Dreams?

Many spiritualists and psychologists feel that symbols play a significant role in dreams. Seeing a rabbit in your dreams might mean a variety of things. Typically, a rabbit represents:

  • Luck.
  • Power.
  • Success.
  • Warmth or emotional abundance.
  • Fertility.
  • Physical and sexual pleasure.

This may appear to be a considerable number of symbols, yet their meanings apply to a wide range of circumstances. The way the rabbit appears in your dream might also have a significant impact on the meaning.

If you have a dream about a rabbit running away from you, it could represent someone you care about shifting away from you. Similarly, if you are bitten or scratched by a rabbit in your dream, it could indicate that you are having problems in your romantic relationships. 

The context of the dream as a whole has a lot to do with the symbolic meaning of the dream.

What It Means To Feed a Rabbit in Your Dream

What if you have a dream in which you are feeding a rabbit? The symbology behind it has two basic meanings, which may appear to be mutually exclusive. Depending on how you feel after having the dream, it could be a sign of caring, nurturing, or tenderness. It can also represent a feeling of something someone is taking from you.

Meanwhile, if the rabbit bites or scratches you when you’re feeding it, it’s a symbol for neglected or failing relationships.

White Rabbit Symbolism

White rabbits represent love, sensitivity, and inner strength, along with good fortune and coming opportunities.

White rabbits are seen as so lucky in European traditions that they are regarded as a blessing. On the first day of the month, saying “white rabbit” or “rabbit, rabbit” is said to bring good luck.

Dreaming about a white rabbit foreshadows a positive change in your life and circumstances. That is said to be true only if you are bold enough to take a leap of faith. Rabbits may be prey animals, but they are also intelligent, fast, and brave. They wouldn’t be able to survive if they weren’t.

Black Rabbit Symbolism

In the same way that black rabbits are the polar opposite of white rabbits, they have opposing meanings. Black rabbits in dreams might symbolize fear, stress, depression, and feelings of helplessness. 

What if your dream isn’t entirely centered on a black bunny but only includes one? In this scenario, a black rabbit could mean loss, family issues, and the necessity for caution.

Black is also a color that represents silence and stillness. This could indicate that black rabbits represent either the tranquility that comes with being motionless and silent or the desire to speak up. 

Most people believe that your interpretation of the symbols impacts the symbols themselves, as they do with all dreams. Black rabbits might represent two different things in two separate people’s dreams. This is entirely dependent on the context of the dream and your interpretation of them.

Brown Rabbit Symbolism

A brown rabbit is associated with abundance as well as being perceived as vulnerable. Whether it appears in dreams, visions, crosses your path, or synchronicity, the brown rabbit is a symbol and message that you are fortunate. When the brown rabbit appears, it’s a sign to the individual not to take things too seriously. 

What Does Seeing a Brown Rabbit Mean?

Rabbits in the wild are usually brown in color. Dreaming of a brown rabbit also suggests that you are or need to be grounded in life. If you had a dream about a brown rabbit running, it signifies you should be cautious in matters of the heart.

In the ancient world, the rabbit conveyed the message that you have everything you need. If the rabbit was scared in your dream, this could represent your feelings of uncertainty. If the rabbit was dying, it could mean that you’re closed off to areas of life that you can’t see because a baby rabbit is blind, deaf, and naked. As a result, the rabbit can represent the vulnerable stages of our lives in the dream world.

What Does a Dead Rabbit Symbolize?

Rabbits are commonly associated with family, good fortune, and opportunity. As a result, it’s unsurprising that a dead rabbit carries a negative connotation. A dream about a dead rabbit symbolizes a loss. 

It could be the end of a relationship or, sadly, the death of a loved one. A dead rabbit, no matter how or when it appears, is considered not good news. It’s possible that you won’t just dream of a dead rabbit in these situations. 

In a dream with a dead rabbit, there could be other events, animals, or things. It’s crucial to try to analyze the other parts in order to determine the meaning. Because dreams rarely confine themselves to just one symbol, the extra symbols may aid in determining the overall message.

rabbit symbolism little girl happy

 

Rabbit Meanings as Animal Totems

A rabbit as a birth totem indicates that you are a witty individual who enjoys life, partying, and even frolicking. You enjoy moving quickly through life and are constantly in need of adrenaline. The rabbit totem makes you highly intuitive, making it simple to find your way to success. Nonetheless, we mustn’t lose sight of its terrifying nature. 

The rabbit animal totem represents a fearful creature who never relaxes. Social shyness and constant anxiety may be a struggle for those born with this totem, but this animal is the one who will teach them how to overcome these feelings. A rabbit’s lucky foot or a rabbit totem work in a similar way. It’s a lucky charm that will help you overcome fears and increase your chances of manifesting your desires. 

When this totem enters your life, it will be natural for you to express your seductiveness and childlike candor. Positive energy will radiate with great magnetism while you are contemplative and exceptionally observant. All of these characteristics will assist you in handling a variety of situations with diplomacy and kindness.

Rabbit Meanings as Animal Guides

This power animal may emerge if your health is in poor form or if you are unsure about what you should eat. It will push you to maintain a healthy lifestyle. The rabbit is an animal guide that may help you find balance, make rapid judgments by quieting your thoughts, and offer good luck and happiness.

Its ability to project full awareness into your life is teaching you to be conscious of all actions and thoughts in order to attract only positive aspects in life. 

Another way to harness the power of this animal is to write down your fears and then burn them to ashes, which can then be collected in a metal container and buried.

Rabbit Spiritual Meaning

The rabbit spirit animal’s energy should be contacted when a person requires keen senses and comfort, such as when they are afraid or in need of money and abundance. If you summon this spirit, it will bless you with fertility and creativity. 

If this spirit appears to you unexpectedly, it is a warning to be cautious of the perils ahead. You may be being “watched” by an evil being, and this guide has come to you to sharpen your instincts and make you aware of your predicament, allowing you to flee. 

What Does Seeing a Rabbit Mean Spiritually?

If you’re in a situation where you need to make a decision, this appearance means it’s time to take a step back and think about what you want to do next. The rabbit can also be a helpful guide if you’re thinking about starting a family since it can help you stay grounded and make sensible financial decisions. 

When you’re in trouble, calling on the spirit rabbit can help you become more agile both physically and mentally, making you more likely to attract opportunities and solve problems. This animal will boost your problem-solving speed and make your mind more adaptable.

 

What Does It Mean If a Rabbit Crosses Your Path?

In most circumstances, if a rabbit crosses your path, it implies you need to make significant changes in your life. It can also mean that there could be a profoundly significant omen for you. This suggests that you can expect prosperity and abundance in the near future.

white rabbit

Is the Rabbit Symbolic of Duality?

While it may seem unusual to place such powerful symbolism on such small, delicate creatures, it is actually quite fitting. Rabbits, although being prey animals, are tenacious and will battle to defend their territories and families.

Rabbits are symbolic of a variety of things to people all around the world, but they are most commonly associated with:

  • Family.
  • Fertility.
  • Intelligence.
  • Spirituality.
  • Good luck.

However, depending on the aspect, they can also represent:

  • Fear.
  • Loss.
  • Hedonism.
  • Promiscuity.

Rabbits are highly paradoxical beings. They are the ultimate prey animal, small but powerful, soft yet strong, scary yet cunning. Despite this, they have managed to survive and even prosper despite their numerous predators. This could explain why they are seen as fortunate in so many civilizations.

You can better appreciate and cherish your own bunnies if you understand the symbolic significance of rabbits. These adorable tiny creatures aren’t only terrific pets. Throughout history, they have been significant to many people and cultures.

 

Rabbit Tattoo Symbolism

The significance of a rabbit tattoo is not far from the conventional opinion. It is a lucky emblem, particularly for its back legs, which were employed in divination. The aspects of lusciousness and fertility are also evident. 

As a symbol of sex and sensuality, many girls tattoo this symbol or the Playboy emblem. This emblem is also well-known among men as a symbol of sexual emancipation and a way of life.

The symbolism of the rabbit tattoo is also for people who want to be reminded to stay calm through difficult situations. This animal is portrayed on people’s skin for the affection they have for their pets, which is a more playful meaning.

As a portrait of their best fluffy companion, this adorable animal can be a permanent souvenir. A number of cartoon rabbits, such as the White Rabbit from Alice in Wonderland, are quite popular among tattoo fans. Each of these characters stands for a collection of beliefs and ideas.

You might get a bunny tattoo or even an Easter rabbit with bright eggs if you want to portray the sense of spring and rebirth.

 

Rabbit Symbolism in Literature and Movies

Literature

Because of the nature of literature, rabbits can represent a variety of things, depending on the authors’ goals. The literature contains the most diversified rabbit imagery everywhere, from pet bunnies to spirit animals. 

However, there are certain symbolizations that are significantly more frequent. These are some of them:

  • Kindness.
  • Fertility.
  • Tenderness.
  • Luck.
  • Rebirth.
  • Spiritual exploration.

The rabbits in Tolkien’s famous work Of Mice and Men represent the character’s hopes for what the future will bring: riches, kindness, and tranquillity in their own land. Rabbits also represent the impossibility of realizing this desire. Rabbits are fast-moving critters that may elude even experienced hunters. 

Alice in Wonderland, however, is the most classic example of a rabbit as a literary symbol. The White Rabbit is not only a symbol of renaissance but a psychopomp: an interworld guide. 

The rabbit is a guide to Alice, which takes her into a new chapter. In literature, religion, and mythology, rabbits are animals of duality and often symbolize the connection between the human world and the spiritual world.

Movies

The rabbits in Jordan Peele’s horror-thriller Us, on the other hand, represent the rebirth that the Tethered seek on the surface world. They also represent the path they intend to take in order to find their rebirth. 

The actor/director explained why he chose the duality of a rabbit in a video interview. He explains that while they are cute and lovable, rabbits also have no empathy and “the brain of a sociopath”. 

 

FAQs

What Does the Year of the Rabbit Mean In the Chinese Zodiac?

The year of the rabbit concerns the zodiac’s fourth animal, the rabbit. People who were born in the rabbit year are calm, elegant, and alert. The year of the rabbit next will be 2023.

What Is the Difference Between Superstition and Symbolism?

Superstition is an irrational belief in a particular thing, circumstance, or occurrence or in its ominous importance.

Symbolism is the practice of symbolic representation or investment of things with a symbolic meaning or character.

Is Seeing a Bunny Good Luck?

According to different cultures, seeing a rabbit is a sign of good luck, prosperity, and abundance. The negative aspects mean that a rabbit could also be a sign of fear, loss, and deception, or rather trickery.

 

Final Thoughts

Although the rabbit is a prey animal in the real world, the symbolic meaning of the rabbit is generally quite positive. So what does the rabbit symbolize? The rabbit itself symbolizes intelligence and great intuition, in order to survive in the wild.

In many cultures, the rabbit symbolizes success, prosperity, and fertility.  However, the rabbit is regarded as a sign of fear, loss, and deception in some cultures. Depending on your dreams and your culture, the rabbit, along with other symbols, can have varied meanings. Some dreams come with a warning message, while others come to bring news of prosperity.

Whatever you believe, the rabbit symbolizes overcoming your limitations. The rabbit can show us strength, bravery, and an abundance of faith. Many people believe it will bring them good luck and bravery to welcome success.

 

 

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Sarah Logan

Sarah Logan is the Editor here at The Bunny Hub. Sarah is a long-time bunny lover having kept pet rabbits since early childhood. With over 35 years of experience caring for fluffy-tailed, lop-eared friends, Sarah wanted to create a space dedicated to providing expert advice on not only general care, but proper nutrition, and, the best products and accessories every serious owner needs. Here you will find everything you need to make informed decisions in all aspects of becoming a proud rabbit owner. We do all the hard work for you. We research and test out the latest products, then we tell you about our discoveries. From choosing the right breed of bunny for your family, to making purchases you won’t regret for the important things like a hutch for your fur baby to live in. We’re here to make sure you have all the information you need to give your bunny and happy and healthy life.

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