The regal-looking navy blue jersey with gold trim hails the beginning of the Year of the Rabbit, which begins later this month on Jan. 22.
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— Manchester City (@ManCity) January 10, 2023
The rabbit is the fourth animal in the Chinese zodiac and represents speed, quick wits and agility — much like Pep Guardiola’s side. The figure of the moon rabbit also appears in Chinese folklore and is said to be a companion of the moon goddess Chang’e, who diligently prepares ingredients for her elixir of immortality.
According to the club, the gold details also mark the successful mission of China’s first lunar rover, the Jade Rabbit (Yutu), which explored the surface of the moon as part of China’s Chang’e 3 mission in 2013.
The jersey also bears a dark-blue moonscape pattern that serves as a reference to both the lunar calendar and the club’s ever-popular anthem “Blue Moon,” sung regularly by fans at the Etihad.
While it won’t be worn on the pitch at any point, the replica shirt forms part of a wider collection of Man City/Chinese New Year apparel, including a matching tracksuit and t-shirts all of which carry the rabbit symbol around the club crest on the reverse.
Manchester United were among the first Premier League clubs to release specific special strips to mark the Chinese New Year, doing so in 2020 with a remarkable design that featured an intricately embroidered dragon pattern on a red faux-silk shirt.
Arsenal then followed suit in early 2021 when they released a dedicated Chinese New Year warm-up shirt celebrating the Year of the Ox — an ancient symbol of stability, strength and, if the results were anything to go by, dizzying visual cacophony.