Leap year traditions date back hundreds of years, the most famous of which is the Irish tradition of young women proposing to their often reluctant-to-wed sweethearts on February 29th. Many other Leap year traditions follow along this same theme of women taking matters in their own hands to find wedded bliss. Here are some modern twists to Leap Year traditions for you to consider starting:
- Say a little prayer—this tradition dates back to ecclesiastical times where a member of the clergy would say a prayer for couples contemplating marriage in case the person being proposed to said “no”
- Throw a Leap Year party—this was a chance for women to ask a man to dance, but you can just make it an excuse to throw a once-in-every-four years blow-out bash
- Send a card—this tradition stems back to the days when women would send postcards to men as invitations to a Leap Year party—why not send a thank you note or note of appreciation to someone you know to make their day, or have a little fun and send a note from a secret admirer
- Buy a new pair of gloves: Queen Margaret of Scotland in 1288 required that fines be levied if a marriage proposal was refused by the man. The fine was a pair of leather gloves, a single rose and a kiss (the gloves were meant to mask the ring finger of the woman)
- Of course, if you’re single, and there’s someone in your sights, this is your chance to go for it!
I thought I would add a few of my own Leap Year traditions to the list:
- Brew a special batch of Leap Year beer or if you’re a winemaker, Leap Year wine to imbibe throughout the year
- Declare Feb 29th Reverse Roles day. If you have kids, make them the parents—tell them they can make all the decisions about what you eat and do that day. If you’re in a relationship, switch roles—whatever household duties you’d normally do, switch with your partner
- And my personal favourite: lobby the government to declare Feb 29 a National Holiday so we can truly gain an extra day in the year to do whatever we want (who’s in?)This week’s #HappyAct is to adopt one of these Leap Year traditions or start your own. How will you celebrate Leap Year? I’m off to buy new leather gloves. Leave a comment.