Leap Day

Today’s today in history post was shorter than usual because it’s Leap Day, the extra day added to February every four years to keep the calendar in sync with the sun.

It is traditionally the day in which women can propose to men:

According to an old Irish legend, or possibly history, St Bridget struck a deal with St Patrick to allow women to propose to men – and not just the other way around – every 4 years. This is believed to have been introduced to balance the traditional roles of men and women in a similar way to how Leap Day balances the calendar.

In some places, Leap Day has been known as “Bachelors’ Day” for the same reason. A man was expected to pay a penalty, such as a gown or money, if he refused a marriage proposal from a woman on Leap Day. In many European countries, especially in the upper classes of society, tradition dictates that any man who refuses a woman’s proposal on February 29 has to buy her 12 pairs of gloves. The intention is that the woman can wear the gloves to hide the embarrassment of not having an engagement ring. During the middle ages there were laws governing this tradition.

 Proof indeed that not all traditions are good ones.

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5 Responses to Leap Day

  1. My son, rather cunningly got married on leap day, which is why he is in Melbourne celibrating his first wedding anniversary while I am stuck in Cromwell (its raaining) looking after 2 1/2 year old twin grandsons
    It’s not all bad

  2. […] Leap Day (homepaddock.wordpress.com) Share this:TwitterEmailFacebookLike this:LikeBe the first to like this post.   […]

  3. adam2314 says:

    So… St. Patrick did not rid Ireland of all the Vipers :-))

  4. homepaddock says:

    “St. Patrick did not rid Ireland of all the Vipers”

    Only the spineless ones 🙂

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