Each Lunar New Year, an animal is assigned to signify what the year has to bring. Babies born in these years are said to take on the characteristics of the animal, and people look to these zodiac signs to prepare for the year ahead.

This year, 2023, is the Year of the Rabbit. As you may be familiar with a rabbit’s foot as good luck symbol in Western culture, the Chinese Zodiac rabbit is said to bring good luck along with elegance, peace and wit. This year is said to be a year filled with hope, looking forward to all things the rabbit has to offer.

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Along with an animal, Chinese astrology also incorporates the elements – water, metal, wood, earth and fire. This year is a water year which offers rest, relaxation and reflection after last year’s dynamic Year of the Tiger.

 

Zodiac animals signify more than just what the year may bring, or personality traits. Each animal has roots in Chinese traditions and legends. The Jade Rabbit is said to be seen in a full moon. The Jade Rabbit holds the elixir of life as it is believed he once attempted to sacrifice himself as food for the Jade Emperor. The emperor had disguised himself as a beggar to find a trustworthy and kind helper. After revealing his true identity, the emperor then took the rabbit to the moon to help create the elixir of life and can still be seen today. In Japanese culture, legend says the Old Man of the Moon brought the rabbit to live with him because of his great kindness. Instead of creating the elixir of life, it is believed the rabbit is making mochi.

 

Luck is seen in the rabbit because of its ability to wait for an opportune moment before leaping into action. January 21 marks the eve of the Lunar New Year, so with it being lucky and hopeful, it may be a great year to follow a dream.