Tuesday, 7 February 2012
29.02.2012 – Ladies’ don’t hesitate - it’s your turn!
As you all might know: 29th of February is a day where woman could / can / should propose.
Four years ago (when we had the last leap day) we were at a party where some friends were messing with us and the girls asking me to propose to my now husband. I first didn’t know what was up with that and this is how I came across this “tradition” and read a little bit into it.
Generally a Leap Day is happening every 4 years in our Gregorian calendar. The Leap Years were introduced over 2000 years ago when the Roman calendar transitioned into the Julian calendar in 45 BC.
It seems that woman proposing on this very day is a well known tradition in Ireland / England that originated in Ireland centuries ago. However some scripts say that it originated 1288 in Scotland where it was made legal for woman to propose to a man however only during a Leap Year.
According to the Irish legend the tradition started out in the 5th century when St Bridget made a deal with St Patrick to allow women to propose to men every 4 years. It is believed that St Bridget wanted to balance the traditional roles of woman and men in a similar way the 29th of February - Leap Day - balances the calendar.
In some areas this day has also been called “Bachelors’ Day” for exactly the same reason.
However there are different versions of the tradition that are as such
· if a man receives a marriage proposal on a leap day, he must accept it (well – if a Lady is brave enough to ever propose dare you say no anyway!!)
· if the man declines the proposal he must give the Lady a silk gown (or textile so she can make herself one) or even money and kiss her as compensation
· if a man refuses he has to buy a pair of gloves (some say even 12 pair of gloves) so the rejected Lady can hide her embarrassment of not wearing an engagement ring
· in the Middle Ages the government even had a law for men who rejected the proposal and did not give the above mentioned gifts must pay a substantial fine
Thankfully we are not in Greece:
the Greek superstition claims that couples who are getting married during a leap year will have bad luck with their marriage. They will be especially unlucky if they get married on the 29th of February. One in five engaged couples in Greece actually DO follow this ancient superstition and avoid planning their wedding day during a Leap Year.
Out of the question:
Woman ARE allowed to propose and why shouldn’t they ;) It does not have to be on leap day of course but if you want to follow the tradition….. what is stopping you?
If anything – watch this space and follow up with us again in March.
If you know a woman who intends to propose at 29.02.2012 - watch this space and keep us in mind!
Gaffey Productions might have a special surprise for you in stock!
No feelings were (hopefully) harmed during this article ;)