White rabbits on Cambodian signs

Hand painted sign showing a white rabbit directing visitors to the cultural centre at Yeak Loam lake in Ban Lung, Ratanakiri

White rabbits make an unusually frequent appearance on hand-painted signs in Cambodia. The one above is from the Yeak Loam lake in Ban Lung, Ratanakiri.

It turns out that the white rabbit is a symbol of good luck in Cambodia, consistent with the ancient tradition of carrying a rabbit’s foot in other parts of the world. Other Asian countries also associate rabbits with things such as New Year (China), food and the moon (Japan, Korea). There are also connotations with fertility, and of course the fictional white rabbit that leads Alice to wonderland.

Here are a couple of white rabbits found on hand-painted signs in Kratie, I’m sure that I’ll notice even more now that I have become sensitised to this trend…

Colourful hand-painted sign for the Sorya music group in Kratie, Cambodia

It’s not clear why the rabbit features on this sign advertising a music group. It may have some connection with them being booked for weddings and bringing good luck (and fertility?) to the happy couple.

Mekong Restaurant entrance in Kratie showing a fascia with two white rabbits serving food on the painted sign

The entrance to the Mekong Restaurant in Kratie and two waiting white rabbits.

Hand painted white rabbit in role of waiter carrying a duck platter

A close-up of one of those rabbits, this one serving a duck platter. There seems to be something not quite right about this, along the lines of the paradoxical chicken omelette…

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