The Rabbit Bulletin: Gyeongbokgung

When I visited the Gyeongbokgung Palace in Seoul I saw a rabbit statue from the Korean Zodiac. This was a similar statue, albeit much smaller, to the one I saw at the Sik Sik Yuen temple in HongKong.
Apparently the power of different animals were very important to the rulers of the Joseon Dynasty (1392-1897) which is a defining period for Korean culture and identity. That is why the Gyeongbokgung Palace has a lot of figures of animals.
Each of the animals have their own special personality and symbolic meaning, and what they represent can be largely divided into five categories: the king’s authority and dignity, auspicious signs, the law and justice, lucky symbols and protection from evil spirits, and the universe.

As for the Rabbit, he is a lucky symbol signifying long life, peace and well-being, and happiness. The Rabbit is also one out of Twelve Earthly Branches that shows that the universe is a fusion of time and space. Therefore, the rabbit statue next to me on the photo at Geunjeongjeon Hall in Gyeongbokgung Palace is a symbol of the universe.
He might be small, but the symbolism is huge.

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