Who is Rabbit God?
The Rabbit God is the god of health living who lives in the moon. Legend has it there was an epidemic in North China long time ago. As doctors could do nothing to treat the illness, the Moon Goddess Chang ‘er sent her rabbit to earth to treat the disease. However, the rabbit was born in white and culturally, white is the symbol of death. The Rabbit God thus decided to borrow colorful clothes of a priest to dress to present himself. He rode on different animals such as kirins, tigers or elephants, reaching all over Beijing to cure the disease. (Kirins, with the head of a dragon, a scaled horse-like body and an ox tail, symbolizes fortune and good wishes. Tigers, with the Chinese word ‘King’ on their forehead, symbolizes power and protection. Elephants, with the combination of Chinese words representing abundance of money and fortune placed upon their heads, symbolizes wealth and prosperity.)
From then on, the Rabbit God held a special place in people’s hearts. As time passed, people began to personalize and beautify the image of the Rabbit god. They made a wide range of figures and toys of Rabbit Gods dressing in armour and colorful clothes, riding various animals. During Mid-autumn Festival, the celebration of the full moon, people would worship the Rabbit God who also lives in the moon and customarily sent rabbit god toys as gifts to friends and relatives to wish them health and good fortune.