Looking for a little extra luck in the coming month? If you're superstitious, you may try to trick the universe into sending more good vibes your way by saying "rabbit, rabbit." To really get the full effect of the luck, you have to say it first thing on the first, right?
But where did this idea come from? As with many folk traditions, it's not totally clear. While rabbits have been considered lucky for a long time (as long as 2,000 years, according to NPR!), the tradition of saying "rabbit, rabbit" is a bit newer.
The earliest written record of saying "rabbit, rabbit" is from 1909, from an English periodical Notes And Queries.The author wrote "My two daughters are in the habit of saying 'Rabbits!' on the first day of each month. The words must be spoke aloud, and be the first word said in the month... Other children, I find, use the same formula." While he doesn't explain beyond that, it seems connected to the luck associated with the animal.
Another variation of the tradition is to say "white rabbit, white rabbit." During World War II, British fighter pilots were known to say "white rabbits" for luck every day, not just the first of the month.
If you are a devoted practitioner of the "rabbit, rabbit" mantra, you might have an even more modern reason: In the '90s, Nickelodeon designated every day of the year a different "Nick Day." Some, like the first day of Hanukkah, were recognized outside of children's television programming, while others, like "Fort Day" were made up. The first of each month was declared "Rabbit Rabbit Day," and the day before, the announcer would remind viewers to say "rabbit, rabbit" when they woke up.