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Children’s Worship of Lord Rabbit

The Lord Rabbit is a typical Chinese toy for the children. In the past, the dolls of Lord Rabbit were customarily given to children on Mid-Autumn Festival.

When people worshipped the moon, they would make an offering to the memorial tablet of “the Moonlight Buddha”. The offering was actually a sheet of paper. At the top of the paper was a picture of “the Stellar Sovereign of Supreme Yin” resembling a Buddha and on the lower part was a picture of a jade rabbit pestling herbs in the Moon Palace. People burn the paper.

In most cases, children were taken care of by the mothers and loved to imitate the behavior, hence Lord Rabbit was created for the children’s using in worshipping the moon. It originated in late Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) and enjoyed popularity in the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911). Lord Rabbit had rosy cheeks and wore armor and a golden helmet. It held a mortar in its left hand, a pestle in its right hand and a small flag on the back. With a funny dignified look, it might ride a lion, a tiger, a spotted dear, a camel or sit on a lotus throne, and such images appealed particularly to children. After the sacrifice, it became the children’s toys.

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