Once every four years, we have an extra day in the year and it has a lot of funny, interesting and completely bizarre traditions and myths attached to it, starting with those who are born on Leap Day.
LEAP YEAR BABIES
According to astrologers, those born under the sign of Pisces on February 29 have unusual talents and personalities reflecting their special status. Supposedly, they’re pleasant, friendly, loyal, and will go to extremes to help out their friends. Maybe we should all look for a leap year baby as a friend. Most have to wait every four years to “officially” observe their birthdays, but leap year babies typically choose either February 28th or March 1st to celebrate in years that aren’t leap years. One notable famous Leap Day birth, or rather, two, are Zig and Zag!
JOIN THE HONOUR SOCIETY
While leap babies might have a bit of confusion over when their real birthday actually is (and when they can legally start drinking if they turn 18 on an ‘off’ year), they do have somewhere to go. Leap babies can join “The Honor Society of Leap Babies.” No, really. One of its main objectives is, “to promote Leap Day awareness.”
UNLUCKY IN LOVE
In Scotland, it used to be considered unlucky for someone to be born on leap day, just like Friday the 13th. Greeks even consider it unlucky for couples to marry at any time in a leap year, and especially on leap day.
PUT A RING ON IT
According to an old Irish legend, or possibly history, St. Brigid struck a deal with St. Patrick to allow women to propose to men instead of always just the other way around – every four years. This is believed to have been introduced to balance the traditional roles of men and women in a similar way to how leap day balances the calendar.
In some places, leap day has been known as “Bachelors’ Day” for the same reason. A man was expected give them something like a gown or money, if he refused a marriage proposal from a woman on leap day.
HIDING BEHIND GLOVES
In many European countries, especially in the upper classes of society, tradition dictates that any man who refuses a woman’s proposal on February 29 has to buy her 12 pairs of gloves. The intention is that the woman can wear the gloves to hide the embarrassment of not having an engagement ring.
LEAP DAY PHENOMENON
The power of TV has been proven time and time again, especially when it comes to holidays in America. After all, Festivus has pretty much become a real thing because of Seinfeld, and we all know about Christmukkah thanks to The OC. So if 30 Rock is anything to go by, we’ll be wearing blue and yellow and getting a little crazy on our extra day of the year!