February 29th or Leap Year Day is when ladies all over the world may propose to the man of their dreams. An answer in the affirmative is more or less guaranteed. If any man should be so bold as to decline a lady on this date, he should pay a hefty fine.
A solar year is 365 and a quarter days long. Every four years an extra day accumulates and is added to the calendar on the 29th of February creating a leap year day.
The term ‘Leap Year’ dates back to old England, when the day was not recognized by law. The day was ‘leapt over’ and ignored, hence the name.
This lack of legal status on leap day resulted in an assumption that tradition held less sway on this date also. Assertive women took the law and tradition into their own hands by proposing to the bachelor of their choice on this special day.
This old Irish tradition was highlighted in the romantic comedy Leap Year, released in 2010 and starring Amy Adams and Matthew Goode.
A legend behind the origins of this tradition dates back to the 5th century. St. Brigid, a champion of women’s rights in her day, supposedly approached St. Patrick about a woman’s limited say when it came to choosing a husband. St. Patrick compromised by permitting women to propose to the man of their choice once every four years. Leap Year Day became the honorary day.
And so to all the ladies out there, waiting for their knight in shining armor to come along and woo them, wait no more. If any lady feels the need to put a marriage proposal on fast track, just seize the moment! Get off the fence and take the leap on Leap Year Day! Go ahead and pop the question this very day.
And to all the bachelors out there, delaying the inevitable, not wishing to take the plunge, be prepared for your lady to get down on bended knee on this very special day.
Happy Leap Year Day to all!
Slan agus beannacht leat!
(Goodbye and blessings)
Irish American Mom