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Lunar New Year: What the rabbit symbolizes in the Chinese zodiac

Rabbits symbolize longevity and peace.
Rabbits represent the moon in Chinese culture.

The year of the tiger is about to end and the next zodiac to come is the rabbit.

Legends say the rabbit came fourth in "The Great Race" to select the order of the 12 zodiac animals.

During the race, the rabbit followed close on the heels of the tiger but slipped and fell into the water. It managed to cling to a floating log nearby and just as the log slowed to a stop, the dragon pushed it to the shore with its breath.

The rabbit never learned who came to its aid, but the dragon was content to finish in fifth place.

According to a Chinese New Year website, rabbits have quiet personalities that hide "their confidence and strength." They're goal-oriented and have "good reasoning skills and attention to detail." While they are good at socializing, they find it hard to open up to others. Rabbits also need surprises every now and then to add excitement to their lives.

The zodiac animals most compatible with those born in the year of the rabbit are dog, pig and goat, according to the website. Dogs and rabbits share a desire for a peaceful and quiet life, while pigs and rabbits have similar personalities. Rabbits are also caretakers and complement goats, a zodiac animal who often need someone to depend on.

On the other hand, rabbits are incompatible with roosters, dragons and rats.

Rabbits are often associated with the moon in Chinese culture, and it's a symbol of longevity and peace.

The element associated with the upcoming year of the rabbit is water.

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