It only happens once every four years, but Leap Year is upon us again in 2016 and it’s making us think about a few things. What does it mean, why is it important? Why do some love it while others hate it? Let’s take a look at Leap Year.
1. Did you know that on a leap year, if a woman is going to propose to her man, tradition states that she has to be either wearing breeches or a scarlet petticoat. Yes, really. So unless you have your petticoats ladies, you should probably be thinking twice about getting down on bended knee.
2. Where as women (in petticoats) can pop the question anywhere, any time on Feb 29th, in Greece most couples will avoid tying the knot in a Leap Year. To them, it’s about as lucky as breaking twenty mirrors whilst walking under a ladder.
3. It was Queen Margaret of Scotland who first decided women should be able to propose on Feb 29th, and she was just a kid at the time. When you think about it, it does kind of seem like something a 5-year-old would dream up…
4. Back in the day, if a woman proposed and a man declined, he would be suject to a fine. What was the fine, you ask? He’d have to present the embarrassed lady with either 12 pairs of gloves, a pretty silk dress or a kiss. Maybe all three?
5. There’s a character in the TV show 30 Rock, called Leap Day William. He only appeared once in an outfit of blue and yellow.
6. If you’re born on Feb 29th you’re a Leapling. If you don’t like that, you can also be a Leaper.
7. Do you have a talent, a wonderful thing? Does everyone listen when you start to sing? Astrologers think that people born on Feb 29th possess extra special talents.
8. Because the Australian rocket frog can hop more than two metres in a single bound, the frog has become a symbol for Leap Year. Go kiss one, see if there’s a prince inside.
9. Lord Byron was a Leap Year baby, born on Feb 29th. What were we saying about talents?!
10. The plot of Gilbert & Sullivan’s Pirates of Penzance revolved around Frederic’s discovery that, because he is a leapling, he must remain apprenticed to pirates and serve another 63 years before he can join Mabel, his one true love.
OK so that was only 10… but it’s time for you to fill in the rest. Tell us what leap year means to you over on our Facebook page!