Why do we say white rabbits on the first of the month? These theories will keep you rabbiting on
It’s first thing on 1 March. Are your first words a hopeful request for tea, or something along more lupine lines?
Saying “white rabbits” or “rabbit, rabbit, rabbit” on the first day of each month dates back centuries in England. According to one article, it even reached presidents: "Mr Roosevelt ... has confessed ... that he says ‘Rabbits’ on the first of every month ... he would not think of omitting the utterance on any account.”
Given that the earliest known written mention was in 1420, it’s thought it may have come from a ritual charm by farmers. Or perhaps it’s simply because rabbits are considered “lucky” – just think of the practice of carrying a rabbit’s foot. Another theory is that the word ‘rabbit’ was often used in expletives, so it could be a survival of the belief in swearing as a means of avoiding evil.
Of course, another way to greet the new month is with a pinch and a punch, but that’s a whole other story...