International Rabbit Day is held on the fourth Saturday of September to celebrate and cater to the welfare of rabbits. It takes place on September 23 this year. Today we think of how rabbits have been a source of joy in our lives, be it as pets or friends of the meadow.
During this bunny fest, we also try to highlight some of the challenges faced by our beloved hutch dwellers. We’re not referring to the foxes prowling in the bushes while they gather carrots, we’re talking about the real upsetting dangers like animal testing for cosmetics, hunting, and of course, fur farming. Rabbits and bunnies are harmless and need our protection, and today has been set aside as a day we can consider ways to make their lives more comfortable by creating happy, healthy environments for them to live.
History of International Rabbit Day
To fully absorb all the fun things this day has to offer, let’s get to know more about rabbit society and share a little backstory on why the day is celebrated, as well as how it’s been honored over the years.
Rabbits are small mammals with fluffy hair and bushy tails. They can be found in almost every country on the planet and are similar to other Lagomorpha species such as hares and pikas. Fossils found by archaeologists in the 20th century suggest that rabbits evolved from Asia around 40 million years back. There are different breeds of rabbits in Australia, Africa, and other continents.
The most popular domesticated rabbits are the wild European rabbits. They initially evolved 4,000 years ago on the Iberian Peninsula, now Spain. Back then, Romans arrived on the land and began breeding them for their meat and fur. As civilization grew so did trade, and Europeans introduced the rabbit business to more countries. Rabbits adapted regardless of the weather temperatures and with their rapid reproduction rates, thrived in the numbers.
Rabbits were said to be domesticated in the fifth century by monks in France, who kept them as a source of ready food. In time, they started selecting them according to size and color to retain specific traits. By the 19th century, there were a variety of breeds due to selective breeding, which led to breeding them for shows. Children began to form sentimental attachments to them and people realized how sensitive and delicate these creatures were.
Nowadays, rabbits are a common household companion and are one of the top most popular indoor pets. Our relationship has truly evolved over the years, and that is why it is so important we show them the care and attention they deserve.
International Rabbit Day timeline
German immigrants bring the tradition of egg-laying called ‘Osterhase,’ ‘hase’ meaning ‘hare.’
The association of different breeds is launched to share knowledge on breeding rabbits.
The first Rabbit Day is established by The Rabbit Charity in the United Kingdom.
I.U.C.N (International Union for Conservation of Nature) places European rabbits in the “near threatened” category with fears of extinction.
International Rabbit Day FAQs
How much fun time do rabbits need?
Rabbits are emotional and cuddly creatures, and on average, they need about an hour of playtime every day. They are most active in the morning so it’s a good time to schedule a play date.
What do rabbits eat?
Rabbits have quite a ravenous appetite, you should generally feed them a medium-sized amount of food twice a day. They eat vegetables, green weeds, fruits, and vegetables. Try to evenly spread it out to ensure a healthy and happy pet.
Do rabbits sleep a lot?
Yes, they do. Like humans, rabbits require about 8 hours of rest. They are crepuscular, which means they are most active at dusk and dawn and get their sleep during the middle of the day.
How to Observe International Rabbit Day
Adopt a bunny
You can invite one of these furry creatures into your lives and give them a place they can call home. Make sure you read up on how to care for your pet rabbits first so you can get information on how to look after them.
Have an excursion
If you're a fluffy-tailed pet owner, or you want to know a little bit more about bunnies, then pay a visit to your local rabbit conservatory or shelter where you can learn a little bit more about them.
Donate to a rabbit charity
Several organizations cater to the welfare and conservation of rabbits around the world. It is a good day to do some research to see how they are helping rabbits and how you can be a part of it.
5 Facts You Didn’t Know About Rabbit Day
They don’t only eat carrots
Contrary to what cartoons portray, rabbits also eat greens, weeds, nuts, and berries.
They are also called kittens
Baby rabbits are called kits or kittens, the adult female is called a doe and the male is a buck.
They procreate a lot
Rabbits breed from as early as three months and can give birth to a dozen kits at a go.
They binky when happy
Rabbits are sensitive, and when they are excited they do a mini somersault called a 'binky.'
They can see everything
Well, almost everything. A rabbit’s visual range covers almost a 360-degree circumference.
Why International Rabbit Day is Important
The day promotes conservation
Rabbits are not defensive creatures; this makes them vulnerable to predators, and this day informs people of the dangers of testing on rabbits, fur farming, hunting, and other man-made plights they face.
It celebrates the species
We love rabbits and they love us too, we need their comfort and companionship and they need our care and protection. They are now an important part of our culture and we try to use this as a day to appreciate them.
Time for discussion
From storytelling about their history and learning about their biology, today is a good day to open different lines of conversations about bunnies, where they come from, what they eat, what they need, and how we can encourage more people to read about them.
International Rabbit Day dates