February is here - the month of love and it's a leap year! Bring on the proposals!
February is here! The month of love and of course pancakes! Yes with Valentines fast approaching, I feel myself getting sucked into the hype, doodling love hearts and texting Roses are Red’s to my beloved. All you need is love - ba ba ba ba baaaaa!!!!!
This year February is extra special because 2016 is of course a leap year. Instead of the usual 28 days, this month will have 29 days.
So why do we have leap years?
We have leap years every four years, which means we have 366 days instead of 365. The extra day is added to February as it’s the shortest month in the calendar. Leap years are required to align our modern day Gregorian calendar with the solar year - the length of time that it takes the Earth to complete it’s orbit around the Sun.
Perhaps the most exciting part of leap years is the tradition that women can propose to men during a leap year!
Obviously today men and women can propose to whomever they choose whenever they like but many moons ago, this wasn’t the case.
One Irish legend claims the tradition dates back to the 5th century when St Brigid complained that women had to wait too long for men to ask for their hand in marriage. St Brigid made a deal with St Patrick that women could propose every four years on the extra leap day. The first recorded female proposal was in Scotland in the 13th century. Around that time a law was passed stating that any man who refused a leap year proposal must pay a fine or buy the lady 12 pairs of gloves so that she could conceal her lack of engagement ring!
Personally i’d like to thank St Brigid for making that deal and giving us the little bit of fun that we still enjoy hearing about today!
Are you planning a leap year proposal? We’d love to hear from you!