Three rabbits sharing three ears depicted in Dunhuang murals

Updated: Feb 3, 2023 Print
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The caisson ceiling pattern of three rabbits sharing three ears in Cave 407 of the Mogao Grottoes in Dunhuang, Gansu province [Photo/Official WeChat account of the News Office of the Gansu People’s Government]

Have you ever visited the Mogao Grottoes in Dunhuang, Northwest China’s Gansu province, and noticed the murals of three rabbits sharing three ears?

In traditional Chinese culture, three means auspiciousness, integrity and infinity. The rabbit is regarded as the avatar of Luna and the moon is compared to water. There are 20 such patterns in the murals of the Mogao Grottoes, which mostly appear in the caisson ceilings in the hope of triumphing over fire with water.

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