I recently added a new member to the 3D puzzle menagerie: enter leaping… the Rabbit!
The initial request came from bunny pet owners who wanted to wear a unique piece of jewelry representing their bond with their beloved animal.
It just so happened that shortly after, the official Year of the Rabbit began on January 22nd 2023. Some prototype tweakings later, I am ready to release the beast into the wild just on time for Easter!
I did some research about the cute-faced furry critter and gathered some information about its symbolism regarding these two celebrations.
The Easter Bunny
Rabbits are well-known for their prolific breeding so they traditionally symbolize fertility. Eggs are also representative of new life. It thus seems natural that they both embody Easter and the new beginnings of Spring.
When did it start?
The first official mention of rabbits in association with Easter was made in 1722, in a folklore book written by Georg Franck von Franckenau, a German writer. One of his stories mentions an Easter hare that hides colored eggs for children to find, the very first written mention of an Easter egg hunt!
German immigrants who settled in Pennsylvania in the 1700s, brought their tradition of the Easter Bunny in the US. Their children made nests for the hare to lay its colored eggs and they often left out carrots for the bunny in case he got hungry from all his hopping business.
The Year of the Rabbit
On January 22nd 2023, the official Year of the Rabbit began. Let’s explore a bit further this festive tradition of the Chinese new year. I created the Lucky Rabbit necklace for the occasion!
The Chinese Zodiac animals
The 12 zodiac animals are, in order: Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Goat, Monkey, Rooster, Dog, and Pig. Each year has an animal sign according to the 12-year-cycle. Each animal year is further associated with one of five elements — wood, fire, earth, metal, or water.
2023 is a year of the Water Rabbit, starting from January 22nd, 2023 (Chinese New Year), and ending on February 9th, 2024 (Chinese New Year’s Eve).
The Rabbit zodiac sign
Rabbit is a symbol of longevity, peace, and prosperity in Chinese culture. 2023 is predicted to be a year of hope.
Rabbit is your Chinese zodiac sign if your year of birth is 2023, 2011, 1999, 1987, 1975, 1963, 1951, 1939 or 1927. People born in a year of the Rabbit are called “Rabbits” and are believed to be vigilant, witty, quick-minded, and ingenious.
In Chinese culture, the rabbit has the unique characteristic of waiting for an opportune moment and then leaping into action. More than any other zodiac animal, they symbolize luck. In the zodiac origin story about the Great Race, all of the animals who would go on to become zodiac animals needed to race across a wide river.
The bunny crossed the river by jumping from one stone to another in a nimble fashion. Halfway across, it appeared to be losing the race, but was lucky enough to grab hold of a floating log that later washed him to shore.
The Rabbit and the Moon
In several East Asian cultures, the rabbit is said to be seen in the moon with a mortar and pestle, constantly pounding the elixir of life for the Moon goddess.
When people from a number of different ancient cultures gazed at the full moon, they saw in the shadows of moon’s craters a shape that looked like a bunny:
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