Feb 28

Should You Propose on February 29th?

Many men look for something to make their proposal just a little different.  Well, what would be a bit different than proposing on February 29th?  Ask her to take the leap on leap year, so to speak.  But should you do it?

There are actually several traditions regarding proposing and leap year.  One comes from Ireland.  In the 5th century, St. Bridget and St. Patrick had an argument.  St. Bridget complained that women had to wait for men to propose, so even though many women were ready to get married, they were stuck waiting.  St. Patrick listened to her argument and decided to allow women one day to propose to men.  However, he got to pick the day.  Yes, he chose February 29, so women supposedly could only propose on leap day.  Because of this, it’s sometimes called Bachelors’ Day.

This tradition came up again in England.  English law actually ignored February 29, so it had no legal status.  People decided this meant traditions didn’t apply on the 29th, either.  Thus, women could propose to men.  In 1288, Scotland actually passed a law stating this.  There was also a fine assessed to any man who turned down a leap year proposal.  This fine could run anywhere from a kiss to a dress or other article of clothing.  Later, it became tradition in many European countries for a man to buy any woman he turned down 12 pairs of gloves.  The idea was that the woman would wear the gloves to hide her lack of engagement ring.

Finally, in Greece, it’s considered very bad luck for couples to get married during leap year.  Because of this, it’s estimated that about one in every five couples either rush their marriage or delay it a year.  Those who do marry during leap year almost always go out of their way to avoid leap day.

So should you propose on February 29th?  If you’re a woman and you want to take matters into your own hands, you have tradition backing you up!  On the other hand, you might agree with the Greeks and find the whole year, or especially the day, bad luck for marriage or anything related to it.  It’s up to you to decide.

Celebrate leap day by sending her flowers in Kansas City, MO.

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