Why women propose on a leap year

Why women propose on a leap year

Conventionally, men are the ones who pop the big question. But on leap day (February 29) which only comes once every four years, women take control. For those who no longer want to wait for the man in their lives to get up his nerve, you’re in luck. It’s a leap year!

The tradition of women proposing on a leap day is believed to date back to the 5th century. Legend has it that St Bridget, an Irish nun, was frustrated that women had to wait for long periods of time for their suitors to propose.

She then lodged this complaint with St Patrick (the primary patron saint of Ireland). Eventually, the two came to an agreement. St Patrick decreed that women were allowed to propose on this one specific day, leap day. For the time period, this was quite a liberal decision on St Patrick’s part.

As part of the deal, St Patrick added in some terms and conditions. The ladies who were ready to get down on one knee had a rule to follow.  Women were required to wear either a scarlet petticoat or breeches to pop the question.

It is said that this was added to the agreement to help the men out. It serves as an early-warning system for men who are afraid of the ultimate commitment, apparently.

Interestingly, the story stipulates that those men who reject the proposal are required to give the woman a kiss and a silk dress. This is because St Bridget is said to have proposed to St Patrick, who declined and offered these as a consolation. Historians, however, suggest that St Bridget was only 9 or 10 years old when St Patrick died and there isn’t much evidence to support this story. However, the legend lives on and the tradition is still going strong.

Leap day seems to have a lot of lore about marriage surrounding it. In Greece, Ukraine and Finland, it is believed that a leap day wedding is bad luck.

Nevertheless, a leap day is something special! It only comes around once every four years. It could be fun to make it even more special by proposing to your man.

But remember, you’ve got to follow the one rule.

Image: Instagram / grouponuk

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