Nationality: White American
Occupation: Media relations specialist
Residence: San Francisco, CA
Date of Performance/Collection: 4/23/20
Primary Language: English
I received this tradition and superstition from my mother, who grew up in a white suburban household in Colorado during the late 20th century. She learned it from her father, an English professor, who read it in a student paper about superstitions. When I was younger, she used to practice this little act of magic, but she does not do it anymore.
If the first words you say in the month are “rabbit, rabbit, rabbit,” you will have good luck for the whole month.
Rabbits symbolize good luck in various cultures. I have seen rabbit foot keychains, which are intended to endow their owners with good luck. The word comes in threes, another example of the primacy of the number three in American folk belief. This piece of folklore was transmitted through the written word and stuck in my own family. To attach a special incantation to the beginning of each month gives the start of the month some special significance. It helps to mark off the months as distinct from one another, each as an opportunity for a new beginning, a renewal of luck. Rabbits are also associated with procreation and fertility, so their evocation at the beginning of each monthly cycle could signify renewal, new birth, and fecundity. This incantation is a way to be ‘reborn’ each month, as if to say: “no matter how difficult or painful last month was for me, here’s a chance to start one anew.” This little act of superstition can help people to maintain their faith in the future and retain a spirit of hope and growth going into each new month.