It’s leap day!!! A pretty fascinating day, if only for the fact that women are traditionally allowed to propose to their men on this day, yes, it’s true! And we will dwell incessantly on that in another post, but what other fascinating facts and traditions belong to this day which comes around about once in four years? Well we’ve got a couple of them from a number of countries right here;
The Bachelor’s Day Tradition:
This stems directly from the tradition of women proposing to men, its an Irish tradition that allows women initiate dances and propose marriage and should the unfortunate blushing bachelor refuse the bold advances, he will be expected to pay a penalty. In the original Irish tradition, if the man refuses, he was to buy the woman a silk gown and later on by the mid 20th century, a fur coat. In many European countries however, especially in the upper echelons of society, the tradition dictates that the man has to buy her 12 pairs of gloves, apparently so that the woman can appropriately hide her embarrassment for not having an engagement ring.
Leap Day Babies World Record:
A number of people would rather not have their children born on February the 29th and with a 1/1,461 odd of that happening, they can rest easy and not worry about their children being ‘leaplings’. There may however be one very attractive attribute of being a leapling as anyone born on February 29 is invited to join the Honor society of Leap Year Day Babies. The Guinness Book of world Records also has Leap Day World Record Holders, one of a family producing three consecutive generations of leaplings and another of the number of children born on February 29 in the same family.
There’s an Actual Leap Year Capital of the World:
Self proclaimed it may be, but true nonetheless, the US town of Anthony is the Leap Year Capital of the World and they celebrate this fact with a Leap year festival every four years. Leap day is also St Oswald’s Day, so named after the archbishop of York who died February 29, 992. His memorial is celebrated on February 29 during leap years and on February 28 during normal years.
Leap Year is Considered an Unlucky Year for Love:
So while women may be getting down on one knee to propose on leap days, countries like Greece have deemed it unlucky for people to get married in leap years, in Scotland, it’s considered unlucky to give birth on leap day.
See Also: The Dark Side Of Wikipedia