Top 8 idioms about rabbits and hares to celebrate Chinese New Year

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The Chinese have various rabbit-themed sayings to depict a diverse range of actions. Here are the most famous ones and what they mean:

金乌西坠, 玉兔东升 (Jin Wu Xi Zhui, Yu Tu Dong Sheng)

Literal translation: The Golden Crow sets in the West, The Jade Rabbit rises in the East.

Meaning: The Sun sets, The Moon rises. (A poetic depiction of nightfall.)

狡兔三窟 (Jiao Tu San Ku)

Literal translation: A crafty rabbit has three burrows.

Meaning: Having several back-up plans as a precaution for self-protection.

守株待兔 (Shou Zhu Dai Tu)

Literal translation: Guarding a tree stump, waiting for rabbits.

Meaning: Waiting idly for an unlikely windfall. (Used to describe those who seek gain without pain.)

狮子搏兔 (Shi Zi Bo Tu)

Literal translation: A lion pouncing on a rabbit.

Meaning: Using maximum effort even when tackling small matters.

动如脱兔 (Dong Ru Tuo Tu)

Literal translation: Nimble as an escaping hare.

Meaning: Actions that are fast and nimble.

兔子急了也咬人 (Tu Zi Ji Le Ye Yao Ren)

Literal translation: Even a rabbit may bite when cornered.

Meaning: One who is cornered can do anything.

得兔而忘蹄 (De Tu Er Wang Ti)

Literal translation: Getting the rabbit, and forgetting the snare.

Meaning: Forgetting those who helped them once they achieve success.

兔子不吃窝边草 (Tu Zi Bu Chi Wo Bian Cao)

Literal translation: Rabbits do not eat the grass around their own burrows.

Meaning: Be kind to your neighbours. (Or don’t do bad things at your doorstep.)

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