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Gearing up for the New Year with a range of rabbit nitbits

By Alice Philipson (China Daily)
Updated: 2011-01-20 15:50
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It is possible that you've spent much of the past week or two hibernating in a warm, cozy apartment, hidden away from the freezing winds and Arctic temperatures that have swept through Beijing.

However, unless you truly haven't come up for a gasp of icy air between dawn and dusk, it's likely you'll have caught sight of at least some of the ubiquitous rabbit-related products in the city. Spring Festival is approaching and 2011 is the Year of the Rabbit.

Gearing up for the New Year with a range of rabbit nitbits 

According to Chinese astrology, those born in this year are articulate and ambitious, and are peacemakers who have lots of friends. The animals revolve in a 12-year cycle.

But whether or not the Year of the Rabbit is your year, you can't fail to be charmed by the cute cuddly toys on sale at every shop in Nanluoguxiang or the trendy rabbit sweaters lining the shelves of shops in The Village.

After a quick hop around town, here is a rundown of the best rabbit products on the market - find the perfect outfit for a Chinese New Year party, a gift for a friend or simply a reminder of a year that only comes round every 12, after all.

Cuddly toys:

Pretty much every shop in Nanluogu-xiang and a fair few in the 798 Art Zone stock a cuddly rabbit of some description.

 

Gearing up for the New Year with a range of rabbit nitbits

Whether you want one on a keyring, a commemorative version to keep forever or a giant toy to snuggle up to at night, you'll not be disappointed with the selection.

Starbucks sells a special Chinese New Year "bearista" dressed up as a rabbit, priced at 128 yuan.

Winter warmers:

For a practical way of embracing the rabbit trend, opt for a pair of snug bunny mittens.

Ye Dian on Guloudongdajie sells an attractive woolen stripy pair for 28 yuan that come with a fluffy rabbit face sewn on the back. One size fits all.

 Gearing up for the New Year with a range of rabbit nitbits

Both balaclavas and furry hats complete with long droopy ears are sold at IBox on Nanluoguxiang. As well as being effective against the winter chill, they might come in handy for dressing-up come Halloween. Prices range from 58 to 78 yuan.

Sweaters and T-shirts:

Despite initial skepticism about whether the chic shops of Sanlitun would stock any rabbit-related merchandise at all, it turns out there's plenty to choose from.

Vera Moda stocks a range of cotton hoodies and sweaters with cute bunny prints, starting from 299 yuan.

Only, a Danish brand which mainly caters for women, opts for an edgier patchwork design for its rabbit, which comes on both its hoodies - on sale at 399 yuan - and its T-shirts, going for 249 yuan.

Home accessories:

Esy Dragon on Nanluoguxiang stock a fun 4GB USB stick, costing 228 yuan, in the shape of a rabbit. For the computer whizz-kids out there, it's the must-have rabbit-related accessory.

Both Starbucks cafes in Sanlitun stock red ceramic piggybanks in the shape of rabbits - perfect for kids to store any money they've been lucky enough to receive in the traditional red paper envelopes given by parents on New Year.

And rabbit-decorated canvas bags - great for livening up a grocery shop at this time of year - are available in many shops across the city.

Jewelry:

At Ye Dian on Guloudongdajie, you can pick up a sparkling pair of silver (unfortunately, not real) diamante stud earrings in the shape of the animal of the moment. They're a bargain too, at just 18 yuan.

For China Daily

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