Saying “rabbit, rabbit” is supposed to bring good luck for the rest of the month. Should you wish to try, it has to be the first thing you say aloud on the first day of any month. Sounds simple, but I forget far more often than I remember. Bet you will have a hard time, too.
I intend to say “Rabbit, rabbit “ first thing on the first day of the month, but it rarely happens. I could create an alert on my phone but somehow that feels like cheating. Most months at some point after I have spoken, brushed my teeth, and started to work, I remember that I forgot. Since “Oh,rats,” does not have the same association with good fortune that “Rabbit, rabbit” does, by then I am really out of luck.
Like many superstitions its origins are vague. This particular one is associated with Great Britain, and its earliest reference was in 1909 in Notes and Queries, a British journal focusing on language and literature. Who started it? Who knows. I like the challenge of testing my memory. I am just grateful my success rate is not being recorded and will not influence any major life decision.
A few times I have managed to start the first day of the month shouting “Rabbit, rabbit” when I awoke with glee and a sense of victory. I am not convinced that the month turned out better than any un-rabbitted months, though. I also did not dash out buying lottery tickets. Perhaps starting the month with a positive, in fact crazily joyful, attitude is its own luck.
My English grandfather came to the United States as an adult, and while he raised a family here, he did not raise rabbit sayers. If he was familiar with his country’s tradition, he did not share it. I am not sure how I first heard about ”rabbit, rabbit,” but I am glad I did. It is whimsical and entertaining. December first is approaching, so get your mind-set in place and be ready.
January one is also right around the corner, and though I can find no reference that the first day of the first month of the year is extra special, it must be so. You have a month to practice.
If you turn out to be pretty miserable at remembering, as I am, all is not lost. You can be an enabler. Reminding others about “rabbit, rabbit” as one month comes to a close is a public service. Last day of August I was in a restaurant chatting with the people at a table near us. As I left I said, “Oh, do you say “rabbit, rabbit?” Eyes widened, and two of the people at the table lunged towards me, startled. “Yes, Yes, oh, it’s tomorrow!” and “Thank you!” they exclaimed.
They had no clue how the whole thing got started, either. But, just as rabbits tend do to, interest in saying “rabbit, rabbit” seems to be multiplying.