Year of the Rabbit: Three faces of the Chinese rabbit you may not know

Xinhua | Updated: 2023-01-22 09:35
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A child poses for a photo among rabbit-shaped lanterns at Xuan'en county, Enshi Tujia and Miao autonomous prefecture of Central China's Hubei province, Jan 15, 2023. [Photo/Xinhua]

The Year of the Rabbit should not just conjure images of lithe, fluffy Peter Rabbits or Judy from Zootopia.

As China ushers in the Year of the Rabbit, a variety of bunnies have stormed the country's shopping malls, parks and social media platforms. Clad in golden armor, riding on ferocious tigers or holding herb-pounding pestles, some may be less recognizable for non-Chinese rabbit lovers.

On the eve of the Chinese Lunar New Year, which falls on Sunday, Xinhua has rounded up some of the most famed rabbits in China and is offering explanations of their changing symbolism in modern-day China.


This is probably the most famous rabbit in China. It features on the special stamps issued by China Post to celebrate the Year of the Rabbit and was mentioned when the Chinese leadership extended Lunar New Year greetings.

Known as Yutu, or Jade Rabbit, the pet (or pets) of Lunar Goddess Chang'e often appears grinding herbal medicines with a pestle in the Lunar Palace.

Legend has it that Chang'e, after swallowing a magic pill, took her pet and flew toward the moon where she became a goddess, and she has lived there with the white jade rabbit ever since.

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