A Rabbit – symbol and lucky mascot of the coming year

The symbol of the New Year 2023 is a Black Water Rabbit (Hare*), which will replace the Blue Water Tiger.

Every year of the Chinese astrological calendar has its own patron animal, and each of them promises success to people with certain qualities. According to Chinese tradition, the Year of the Rabbit will begin on January 22, 2023, and will end on February 9, 2024. However, it is possible to prepare for his arrival in advance. The more so, since in Russia its arrival will be traditionally marked on the night of December 31 to January 1.

The upcoming year is primarily characterized by the nature of the animal, which will become its symbol. Like many other representatives of the animal kingdom, the Rabbit has an ambiguous reputation. On the one hand, he represents agility, quickness, vigilance, fertility and even magical power; facile and peaceful Black Water Rabbit tries to avoid conflicts and severities, he is invariably delicate and good-natured. Hence, on the other hand, the animal is ascribed cunning, deceit, cowardice, unrestrained desires and passions. In addition to all these qualities, the Rabbit was considered a symbol of evil. The legend tells of its ability to lure a hunter into the woods and pursue him. It is a very bad omen if a hare (Rabbit) crosses a traveler’s path**.

The coming year 2023 is the only one with two totemic animals, because the patron of 2023 is also a Сat. The peculiarity is due to the fact that in Chinese, the two animals are designateв by the same hieroglyphic symbol. In terms of their characteristics, those two animals are very similar. Both Cat and Rabbit are smart and inquisitive, with a taste for naivety and home comfort. For us, however, both of these animals are intimate and fancied, so in Russia, both the Cat and the Rabbit (Hare) have made root. Both of them are softhearted, affectionate, fluffy animals. We wish to everybody that coming year would be as quiet, kind and harmonious as these laid-back creatures.
The kindest, brightest and most long-awaited holiday, the New Year, is upon us. The symbol of 2023 is the Black Water Rabbit. 

Congratulations to all the friends of the Museum on the coming holiday, we invite you to take another look at Mario Buccellati's Rabbit figurine, made in the author's amazing wool and feather technique.

On the cover: Rabbit. Mario Buccellati. Italy, Milan. XXth century

Themed album “Rabbit - symbol of the coming year”  is posted in the museum Collection Photo Gallery. 

 * Hare and rabbit are not distinguished in symbolism and folk beliefs
** Alexander Pushkin, on his way to the capital to participate in the Decembrist uprising, turned back on seeing a hare running across the road that probably saved his life. According to some reports, the hare crossed the road two or three times.