WHITE RABBITS ON THE FIRST OF THE MONTH - "In some parts of Lancashire and the adjacent counties, it is unwise to shoot a black rabbit
. This is because they were once believed to be ancestral spirits returning in that form. In Somerset, white rabbits are said to be witches. That anyone really believes this now is improbable; nevertheless, white rabbits are not popular as children's pets, and they are usually left severely alone, and are not shot. A luck-bringing custom found all over Great Britain is to say 'Rabbits' or 'White Rabbits' once or three times on the first day of the month. It must be said early in the morning, before any other word has been uttered, otherwise the charm loses its force. In some districts it is considered necessary to say 'Hares' or 'Black Rabbits'
when going to bed on the night before, as well as 'Rabbits' or White Rabbits' in the morning. If, however, the speaker becomes muddled and says 'Black Rabbits'
on rising, bad luck will follow. The looked-for result of all this is variously given as general good luck during the ensuing four weeks, or the receipt of a gift wit hin a few days." From the "Encyclopedia of Superstitions" by E. and M.A. Radford, edited and revised by Christina Hole, Barnes and Noble Books, 1996. First published in 1948.