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January 23, 2023 / philosophermouseofthehedge

The Good. The Bad. The Rabbit.

White rabbit. (Image Flickr/Ross Little/

Can’t imagine anyone not following this rabbit. (Flickr/Ross Little/

Marketing is everything. As important as product design.

Our New Years: we get parties, fireworks (of gunpowder and short fuses along with explosive human dramas), only to be left with another year with a sequential number (suspiciously like jailed criminals) along with guilt trip inducing resolutions.

Numerals won’t keep the t-shirt printers busy.

The Aztec New Year and Lunar New Year have much more hop. 

Is it because both designate one special animal per year? 

“Year of the Rabbit” offers cuddly images promising energy and luck better than a dull and drab “2023″.

RABBIT AND CHINESE DRAGON store display, Dec 2022(Image KKPCW (Kyu3)/

Now don’t that make you want to smile and party? (Lunar New Year store display.Image:KKPCW(Kyu3)/

And with Chinese, you get eggrolls, gold coins wrapped in red, shoes all facing the same direction in your closet, and Lion Dances. 

(Now this is marketing: “Chinese Zodiac Year of the Rabbit: Fortune and Personality”)

With the Aztecs, you get nothing: Year of Tochtli/ the rabbit- was not lucky. 

The date "One Rabbit" carved on the Teocalli of Sacret War ( Image Wolfgang Sauber/

The date “One Rabbit” carved in stone…and memory. A rocky year for sure.(Wolfgang Sauber/

In fact, the “Year of One Rabbit” (the first year of the 52 year Aztec calendar cycle) is still greatly feared. 

“Judging by its nearly universal inclusion in independent Aztec records, the Famine of One Rabbit (1454) is one of the most widely reported calamities in Aztec history. “ (Source).

With a killing Autumn frost following years of drought, there was widespread crop failure and starvation. It was so bad the Aztecs were trying to import maize from places like the Gulf Coast’s Hutex region with a large number of children sold to Totonac merchants in exchange for food. 

Possibly, one of the worst periods of drought, starvation, and climate change humans have faced in this hemisphere and around the world.

It simply stopped raining, then got very, very cold  – killing cold – as shown in evidence from North American tree ring data including the Sierra Nevada, the Rocky Mountains, the subtropical US, and all the way to the mountains of Mexico and the Central Mexico region.

Climate researchers believe that those 1453 frost stunted tree rings are related to the volcanic eruption of the Kuwae caldera in the South Pacific.

Which coincides with a mini-ice age’s global climatic effects (1453-1454) “including “non-stop snow in China, consisting of 40 days of snow south of the Yangtze River and a dry fog in Turkey during April and May 1453.” (source)  Europe and Asia also show stunted tree ring growth from bitter cold between 1453-1457.

Volcano in Indonesia 2004 (Jan-Pieter Nap/

On the face of things, probably an image only Mother Earth could love.(Jan-Pieter Nap/

While historical and climate records from Mexico’s Colonial period have been studied, the pre-hispanic records have rarely been used by meteorologists and scientists to examine climate change in ancient Mexico and Mesoamerica.

A combination of surviving “codices”/records, folklore, and pine tree rings are revealing new information about ancient civilizations that once thrived – and that climate ultimately may decide who and what disappears into history. 

A very interesting article from the American Meteorological Society with pictures, an explanation of the Aztec calendar system (there’s also a year of “Two Rabbit”, “Three Rabbit”…) information how the Aztec manuscripts survived the Spaniard invasion, and more: “Aztec Drought and the Curse of One Rabbit” (2004)

Brown rabbit in front of building looking up with serious expression. RABBIT of Okunoshima, Japan (Tak.H/

“Seriously, rabbit-phobia based on some unknown ancestor is just so unfair. ‘Sins of the Father’, sort of thing.” (Okunoshima,Japan/Tak.H/

Despite the shakiness, cheers for bunny hopping all year long.

Did I hear a “What’s up, Doc?” from out there?

( I wouldn’t “One-rabbit” you…apparently that’s a real idiomatic phrase wishing one bad luck or uttering a curse towards someone. Use with caution around Aztecs).

Only silly rabbits here.

Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge

Glowing rabbits facing the moon. Beijing (Image Anagoria/

Bright ones quietly facing what comes. (Beijing/Image:Anagoria/


Leave a Comment
  1. Kate Crimmins / Jan 23 2023 7:52 am

    Happy rabbit new year!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Helen Devries / Jan 23 2023 7:53 am

    Nearly a bad luck start to the year of the rabbit for our rabbits….a vulture landed on the balcony where the rabbit hutches for new broods are…but it was out of luck – gosh, I hope I got its pronouns right there – as the dogs chased it off.

    Liked by 1 person

    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Jan 23 2023 8:20 am

      A winged intruder – now that’s a worry. Glad the dog guardians were alert and on duty.
      (An example of a bark being more dangerous than the pronoun…hummm, I wonder if it’s inevitable that there will be dogs trained to sniff out pronoun infraction thoughts like they are trained to sniff out termites? Pests abound.)
      Thanks for defending the year’s representative…just too early to risk bad luck.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. easyweimaraner / Jan 23 2023 8:45 am

    I had alice in my mind too… LOL

    Liked by 1 person

  4. shoreacres / Jan 23 2023 8:56 am

    But wait! My English friends, and at least a couple of Anglophiles I know, begin each month by repeating “Rabbit, rabbit, rabbit” for good luck. If one rabbit brings bad luck, apparently three rabbits can undo it. Keep that in mind!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Bruce @ walkingoffthechessboard / Jan 23 2023 11:09 am

    A Rabbit New Year should definitely be one that is a high-energy, hoppin’ good time. Here’s hopping it is!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Anne Mehrling / Jan 23 2023 11:17 am

    Furry’s a jolly good fellow!

    Liked by 2 people

  7. marina kanavaki / Jan 23 2023 12:18 pm

    Hoppy Year of the Rabbit, from Hopping Hera! 🐾🐇🐾

    Liked by 1 person

  8. SusanR / Jan 23 2023 1:10 pm

    I love wabbits, except when they eat my lawn. As for volcanos, I just think of them as earth’s safety valves. Without them venting steam and pressure, Earth would blow its top. Not good for us or the wabbits.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. sustainabilitea / Jan 23 2023 7:59 pm

    Silly wabbit! Are you trying to say there was climate change before there was climate change? You radical!! Weather change would be more accurate but there’s no money in that.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. disperser / Jan 23 2023 11:20 pm

    All I know is that rabbit feet don’t bring much luck to rabbits since they (the feet) end up on keychains.


  11. Curt Mekemson / Jan 24 2023 3:59 pm

    I’m all for happy bunnies and their well known ability to reproduce. Rabbit stew is good as well. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person


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