Leap Year Traditions and Marriage Proposals

February 23, 2020  •  2 Comments

Thirty days hath September,
April, June and November;
All the rest have thirty-one,
Excepting February alone
Which hath but twenty-eight, in fine,
Till leap year gives it twenty-nine.

– an old saying

It is a tradition that ladies can make marriage proposals once every 4 years on the 29th, February in a Leap Year. But why do we have Leap Years and how did this tradition start?

In the Gregorian Calendar we add 1 extra day every 4 years to re-align to the astronomical year on the 29th of February, except for when a year is divisible by 100, but not 400. 2000 was a Leap Year but 1900 wasn't. The Earth does not orbit the sun in exactly 365 days. Normally in the calendar, the days move forward 1 day each year, but in a Leap Year (which runs 1st, March - 28th, February), they move forward 2 days or 'leap' a day.

The origins of the proposal tradition are unclear, but there are fines if a man refuses the proposal. In Finland the man has to buy the fabric to make the lady a skirt, changing to a fur coat in the 20th century. It is believed that it all started in Ireland when St. Patrick is supposed to have granted St. Bridget one day every 4 years for the lady to propose. Anything that is a rarity is also deemed as lucky. Anything started on this day is deemed to be successful. The tradition goes back hundreds of years when the leap year day had no recognition in English law. The day had been ‘leapt over’ and ignored. The day had no legal status, meaning that a break in tradition on this day was acceptable.

Proposal Photographer EssexProposal Photographer Essex

The summer Olympic Games are normally held in a Leap Year.

So in these days of equality is this tradtion now outdated? Do women feel that they can propose as equally as a man on any day, or is it just special to keep some traditions? I'll let you ponder that thought while you enjoy your extra day. 

Sources:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leap_year

https://www.mnn.com

https://www.historic-uk.com/CultureUK/Leap-Year-Superstitions/

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Comments

Delwyn Joy Klevenow(non-registered)
You have a great blog. this post in particular is very helpful!


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Wedding Planner Paris(non-registered)
Thanks for sharing such information. A wedding is an event which is the dream of most people that their event is memorable for them because they want that this day is the best day for them in life. For this, there are wedding planners in Paris who are offering their services like wedding proposals, event design, event management, private party and much more related to events. Most people hire them for their events because they have experience in arranging such events.
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