The Legends of the ‘Leap Day Proposal’…

I couldn’t let today go by without a feature on Leap Day Proposals now, could I? ~ a once in every four years opportunity after all 🙂

leap day proposal



So where { or how } did Leap Day Proposals or a woman’s right to propose to her man all start? 

As you would expect a few countries lay claim to the tradition or have a variation of it! Of course, being a proud Irish Woman 😉 I am going to say it all started here, in Ireland, in the 5th Century 🙂 …

St. Bridget, the romantic soul she was, apparently felt greatly upset for her fellow ‘sisters’ and how long it took for some of their ‘beaus’ to propose, so she took it upon herself and complained to St. Patrick { who had done such great work for us, ridding all the ‘snakes’ in Ireland } and brought the matter to his attention, that it should be a woman’s right to choose and propose to a husband too…

However, it appears that St Patrick was rather a traditional sort and liked the idea of a man proposing to a woman, but saw that St. Bridget had a point and so ‘ decreed ‘ that yearning { don’t you just love that term ?} women could propose to their beaus on February 29th { every four years }. ~ how very kind of him!!

In Britain,, a similar ‘Leap Day Proposal’ exists for women… according to Old English law, February 29th had no legal standing, it existed merely to ‘fix’ a problem in a calendar and only occurred every 4 years. As it was also law that only man could propose to women, it became tradition on February 29th, that as the date no legal stance, other problems could be ‘fixed’ also… such as women waiting too long for a proposal could take matters into their own hands and pop the question to their time-wasting beaus! { Note to self… must find out what the average age was a bride was back then… cause these ‘beaus’ must have been taking YEARS! }

Interestingly traditions exist in the case that a man refuses a Leap Day Proposal…

In Finland a man must buy a woman fabric for a skirt if her refuses her proposal.

In Denmark, the ‘fine’ is 12 pairs of gloves { presumably to hide the woman’s ‘shame’ of no wedding ring. }

On the flip side, in Greece it is considered bad luck to get married during a leap year and often engaged couples will avoid a leap year wedding because of this superstition.

So are you planning to pop the question today? If so I would love to hear how it went!!

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1 Comment

  1. by Maia Dobson on May 16, 2012  2:18 am Reply

    This post is very entertaining because I've never considered a woman proposing to a man. Although I have a friend who did that and they ended up getting married at wedding halls in Long Island. I think it works for some but not for me. I'm too shy to ask.

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