Thirty days hath September,
April, June and November;
All the rest have thirty-one,
Excepting February alone
Which hath but twenty-eight, in fine,
Till leap year gives it twenty-nine.

                                         – old saying

 
As 2020 adds the 29th day to the month of February in the Calendar, let us inquest the myths related to this legendary date…

The Fairer Proposal
An old Irish legend has it, that St. Brigid found a happy medium with St Patrick to balance the gender bias and how? Allowing women to propose to men – and not just the other way around – but every four years. Believed to have been introduced to equalize the traditional roles of men and women in a similar way to how leap day stabilizes the calendar.

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A Dozen Gloves

In many upper classes of the European societies, tradition dictates that any man who rejects a woman's proposal on February 29 has to buy her 12 pairs of gloves and why? The intention is that the woman can wear the gloves to hide the embarrassment of not having an engagement ring. More so, in some places, leap day is observed as “Bachelors’ Day” where a man is expected to pay a penalty, such as a gown or money, if he refused a marriage proposal from a woman.

Leap to Fame
 
Born on February 29, are you? Well you have an invitation by birth to join ‘The Honor Society of Leap Year Day Babies.’ The Guinness Book of Records recognizes the family bearing children for three consecutive generations on February 29 in their Leap Day World Record Holders. Furthermore, they also acknowledge of the number of children born on February 29 in a single family. Isn’t that what we would call, Celebrity by birth?

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Luckless Life?
 
"Leap year was ne'er a good sheep year,” is how a Scottish would describe it… Just as the Friday 13th is considered bad omen in the West similarly in Scotland, it is considered unlucky for someone to be born on leap day.

The Romans consider it unlucky for couples to marry during a leap year, and especially on Leap Day. After the Romans conquered Greece, this Roman superstition passed on to the Greek people as one of the legacies, and leap years were regarded as “bad luck years.” No wonder the saying, ‘Do as the Romans Do!’ stands true to this day.

St Oswald’s Day
 
In England, Leap day is also celebrated as St Oswald’s Day, named after the archbishop of York who died on February 29, 992. As the date suggests, his memorial is commemorated on February 29 during leap years and furthermore, on February 28 during common years. Well, if births could be celebrated on the leap year, so could deaths!!!

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The Craddock Cocktail
 
Introducing The Leap Day Cocktail – Don't mistake it for just another cocktail! This Martini was invented in 1928 by pioneering bartender , Harry Craddock at London’s Savoy Hotel and according to the 1930 Savoy Cocktail Book,“It is said to have been responsible for more proposals than any other cocktail ever mixed.” Until this date, it remains the most coveted cocktail to be relished on the Leap Day!