Leap Year Traditions

As you know a leap years only occurs once every four years, 2016 being the latest one.

There are many traditions associated with 29th February, one of the main traditions is that a woman can propose to her man.

There are a few theories of where this tradition started, one such being that back in the 5th Century an Irish nun called St Bridget complained to St Patrick that women had to wait so long for their suitor to propose. So St Patrick granted women a chance to propose every fourth year on 29th Feruary.

Although this tradition was not thought to have been commonplace until the 19th Century

Another theory is that Queen Margaret of Scotland introduced a scottish law that allowed unmarried women the freedom to propose during a leap year, and shpuld the man refused he would be handed a fine.

This tale is rather dubious though as Queen Margaret was just eight years old when she died and scholars haven’t found any record of this law.

Another weird tradition is that women should wear breeches or a scarlet petticoat to pop the question.

And even in Denmark, should a man wish to turn down the proposal they are enforce to give the woman 12 pairs of gloves. Whilst in Finland the penalty for the man who refuses the proposal is to provide fabric for a skirt for the lady.

All very odd traditions, but the only one that seems to still be ongoing is that of a lady proposing to her man!!