Every four years, we have a leap day: February 29th.
Over two thousand years ago, Julius Caesar declared this date a Leap Day, commemorating it with a special coin.
In the basic sense, it takes the Earth 365 days to travel around the sun, but that is just a rounded up number. His astronomers informed him that the Earth actually takes a little less than 365 days to circle the sun so it was decided that every four years, a Leap Day would occur to make up for that time.
Since then, this day has been a day of tradition, folklore and superstition.
Traditionally, women can propose to men on a Leap Year.
In some cultures, it is also known as “Bachelor’s Day.” If a bachelor declined a woman’s proposal during the Leap Year, he was required to pay penalty in the form of money, a wedding gown or twelve pairs of gloves for the woman.
It is considered bad luck in Scotland to be born on February 29th.
In Britain, February 29th is also St. Oswald’s Day in honor of the Archbishop of York who died on that day.
In keeping with tradition, in the year 2000, I proposed to MY beau on that day. I took my former wedding jewelry to a local Jeweler in town and had a wedding set made for the both of us of my own design ~ just for the occasion!
He declined…and because I wasn’t aware of the other tradition of the bachelor paying a penalty for declining – plus, I don’t think today’s society really recognizes that old rule – I didn’t press the penalty thing.
On the upside, three years later, we were married after seven years of being together! How that all went down is another story for another post, perhaps. But, yes, we did marry and have been married since.
Back then, marriage was very important and such traditions would have been strongly encouraged. Today, I’m sure that tradition is given very little thought which does work in today’s societal favor; woman can have fun with that little tradition.
So, ladies, if you are in love and know he is the one for you, go ahead and propose!