Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Happy Leap Year Day!

Every four years this extra day comes into being and I can't help but think it SHOULD be a worldwide holiday!  Or at the very least a holiday to make up for that darn Day Light Saving time thing that always seem to throw my body's time off for two days.  Though, technically this day is suppose to make our 365 day calendar line up with Mother Nature.  This extra day every four years is supposed to make up for the quarter of a day extra that it takes for the earth to go a round the sun.  Thus, it catches up our calendar to where it should be.  And I am being terribly simplistic here by describing it as such.  Most of the sites I visited earlier today gave some pretty LONG winded answers and if you want those answers I welcome you to Google it.

What I find the most interesting about this day, besides those that have birthdays on this day, is the tradition of ladies proposing to the men to marry.  It's suppose to be good luck day to ask according to Irish tradition.  And if any of you saw the 2010 movie Leap Year, a cute movie, I'm sure you'll remember part of the Legend. 

Legend has it that St. Brigid of Kildare, a fifth-century Irish nun, asked St. Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland, to grant permission for women to propose marriage after hearing complaints from single women whose suitors were too shy to propose. Now if they are too shy to ask I see the possibility of other issues in the relationship but what do I know?  Initially, St. Patrick granted women permission to propose only once every seven years, but I guess that wasn't enough for Brigid.  She insisted on more opportunity.  So then St. Patrick acquiesced and allowed proposals every leap day. The folk tale suggests that Brigid then dropped to a knee and proposed to Patrick that instant, but he refused, kissing her on the cheek and offering a silk gown to soften the blow. The Irish tradition therefore dictates that any man refusing a woman's leap-day proposal must give her a silk gown. Wow!  A silk dress!  Now we are talking!

In Scotland, an unmarried Queen Margaret allegedly enacted a law in 1288 allowing women to propose on leap-year day. But there was a catch: The proposer had to wear a red petticoat (a skirt under her skirt) to warn her intended that she planned to pop the question.  So dudes watch out for red petticoats!

I just find the whole idea amusing to say the least but it is certainly interesting!  Happy Leap Year!


  1. I had no idea! I'll have to rent Leap Year:)
    Happy March!

  2. Actonbell-
    I always find odd things about holidays interesting. I find it rather fun! I guess according legend to the Greeks Leap Year Day is bad luck to get married on. It all depends on your culture. Thanks for your comment!