The March Hare, often called The Mad March Hare, is a character most famous for appearing in the tea party scene in Lewis Carroll's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland.
"Mad as a March hare" was a common phrase in Carroll's time, and appears in John Heywood's collection of proverbs published in 1546. It is reported in The Annotated Alice by Martin Gardner that this proverb is based on popular belief about hares' behaviour at the beginning of the long breeding season, which lasts from February to September in Britain. Early in the season, unreceptive females often use their forelegs to repel overenthusiastic males. It used to be incorrectly believed that these bouts were between males fighting for breeding supremacy.
Like the character's famous friend, the Mad Hatter, the March Hare feels compelled to always behave as though it is tea-time because the Hatter supposedly "murdered the time" whilst singing for the Queen of Hearts. He is briefly shown to live in a house where all the furniture and clocks are shown to be shaped like the head of a hare, which leads Alice to believe that he is indeed "raving mad". Sir John Tenniel's illustration also shows him with straw on his head, a common way to depict madness in Victorian times. The March Hare later appears at the trial for the Knave of Hearts, and for a final time as "Haigha" (which Carroll tells us is pronounced to rhyme with "mayor"), the personal messenger to the White King in Through the Looking Glass.
Disney's Alice in Wonderland, an animated film, depicted the March Hare at the tea party as being deliriously confused. He repeatedly offers Alice a cup of tea, but distractedly pulls the cup out of her reach or takes it from her hands just as she is about to drink. He was voiced by Jerry Colonna, after whom his appearance and personality were modelled, and was animated by Ward Kimball. This version of the character was also a semi-regular on Bonkers and one of the guests in House of Mouse.