Leap Year Weddings

2012 is a leap year and today, February 29 is leap year day. It's surprising how many people get married on this day, even though there is some superstition about it being bad luck.

A quick history lesson for ye' Old Farmer's Almanac - "Why Do We Need Leap Years? The actual length of a year (the rotation of Earth around the Sun) is 365.2422 days. If we didn't have leap years, the seasons would shift about a quarter of a day every year, and after 100 years the seasons would be off by 25 days. The extra leap day adjusts this drift."

And how did Leap Year become the only year that women could ask the man to marry (okay, so it was a different era than what we've grown up in!)

The belief is that the tradition began long ago in the 5th century in Ireland. It is told that St. Bridget began complaining to St. Patrick about men waiting so long to ask for a woman's hand in marriage. St. Patrick granted women the 29th day of February, which only comes around once every four years, to propose to their men.

Scotland went as far as to make it a law. Back in 1288, a Scotland law was created that stated that women could propose on leap year. Any man who declined the proposal by a woman on February 29th would be fined a fee owed to the lady. The fine may be a kiss, a dress, or other garment. I suppose the lady had the choice of what the man owed her.

You may have also heard of February 29th as being called Sadie Hawkins Day. Sadie Hawkins was a lady in the Al Capp cartoon strip. On this day women chase around unmarried men and propose. (We just remember it as a chance to invite a boy to a dance.)

Source: Wikipedia and The Farmer's Almanac