February 29 is also known as a “Leap Day”, which is an extra day added during a Leap Year, making the year 366 days long – and not 365 days, like a normal year. Nearly every 4 years is a Leap Year in our modern Gregorian Calendar.
Other than it’s rarity, do you know February 29 is also a day for women to propose to men?
According to an old Irish legend, or possibly history, St Bridget struck a deal with St Patrick to allow women to propose to men – and not just the other way around – every 4 years. This is believed to have been introduced to balance the traditional roles of men and women in a similar way to how Leap Day balances the calendar.
In some places, Leap Day has been known as “Bachelors’ Day” for the same reason. A man was expected to pay a penalty, such as a gown or money, if he refused a marriage proposal from a woman on Leap Day. In many European countries, especially in the upper classes of society, tradition dictates that any man who refuses a woman’s proposal on February 29 has to buy her 12 pairs of gloves. The intention is that the woman can wear the gloves to hide the embarrassment of not having an engagement ring. During the middle ages there were laws governing this tradition.
Ladies, what are you waiting for?
Seize the chance to propose to the man you love! After all, if he rejects you, you still get 12 pairs of free gloves from him.
For me, as a happily married man, February 29 is just like any other ordinary day. Nonetheless, I would still like to make use of the romantic atmosphere surrounding the day to let my wife Rachel knows that I still love her very much and am thankful to her for giving birth to my beautiful son, Asher last year.
There are many challenges ahead for both of us as new parents, but I am sure we can sail through these, just like how we weathered through previous trying moments in our marriage.