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Leap Year Proposal . . . to Leap or Not to Leap - that is the Question

January 27, 2012

Postcard Images by: Vintage

According to research this tradition originated in 5th centuryIreland when St Bridget complained to St. Patrick that women had to wait too long for men to propose. St. Patrick agreed to let there be one day in February when a woman could propose to the man of her choice. The reason for this particular date was that the extra day in February was to fix a problem in the calendar so the date was also chosen as it fixed an old and unfair custom that only men could propose.

In 1288 Queen Mary of Scotland passed a law to allow women to propose to men, and if  the proposal was rejected, a fine was incurred apparently to ‘soften the blow’ of rejection.

In the early 20th century, humourous postcards were published depicting the woman chasing the man, to celebrate the leap years of 1900, 1904, 1908 and so on...

As these centuries have past, most consider the idea of the leap year proposal old fashioned and out of date. Or do they?  Is the idea that it is the man's duty to propose old-fashioned?  Deep down, do we all, as women, secretly want to be proposed to, as affirmation that our boys love us - indeed enough to commit a life time to us? And in a time when women are equal to men, why is it only acceptable for the woman to propose to the man in one year out of every four?  Or should we just stuff the tradition and have fun proposing when and how and in which ever which way we want to?

I'm really interested to know what  readers think and especially interested to hear from anyone who proposed in a leap year or indeed who are considering proposing this year!  Have you been inspired to pop the question to your man in a leap year? How did you do it? Perhaps you are planning it now? Or were you the lucky recipient? Share your thoughts below…

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