Sales of all things bunny are multiplying like ... well, like the proverbial rabbits. Only souvenirs being made for the wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton in the United Kingdom come anywhere close to the millions of yuan spent on the bunny craze. Even prices of polypropylene fiber and cotton used by China's 6,000-odd stuffed toy makers have rocketed as stores fill their shelves with cuddly rabbits in time for the Golden Week shopping spree.Not exactly a bunny lover (unless in a stewpot), hmm?! China Daily has a special section devoted to all things Chinese New Year/Spring Festival -- click here and enjoy!
Bunny mania even burrowed its way into the State Administration of Radio, Film and Television, which approved the release of six animation films with rabbit characters, including Legend of a Rabbit, and Moon Castle: The Space Adventure.
But there's one difference between this year's rotating zodiac icon and the soon-to-fade-out tiger: Tigers cannot be bought at pet stores. Across the country, sales of rabbits are surging with people buying them as gifts for their loved ones. High-grade breeds like Holland Lop, Angora and Lionhead are selling for hundreds of yuan.
But be warned, a bunny is for life, not just the new year. And don't forget they can be nasty animals. The fluffy, cute, soft bob of fur that gave birth to the likes of Bugs Bunny, Roger Rabbit and Thumper can actually be aggressive creatures. I should know that because I spent some of my childhood time being attacked by one.
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A white rabbit may be a symbol of longevity in traditional Chinese culture, but your doe-eyed, floppy-eared friend may be headed to the stew pot quicker than you can say Xin Nian Kuai Le (Happy New Year).
Remember to cut off its foot; the Irish swear it brings good luck.
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