Leap Year Proposals

Leap Year Movie Poster

As many of you will know this is a leap year which means we are fast approaching the day when women can take the bull by the horns and propose to their men! I know this seems like an odd entitlement these days but in the past when rules of courtship were more strict this day signified a huge amount of freedom. As always I went looking to see where this tradition came from and of course to see if there are any links to Ireland. Well all the impatient women out there can thank Ireland's patron saint St. Brigid for this tradition.

The story goes that in the 5th century St. Brigid came to St. Patrick complaining that women had to wait too long for men to make proposals of marriage. St. Patrick decided to make the 29th February the day in which women could propose to their men. A bit of a compromise considering this day only comes around every four years! This tradition spread to Scotland and in 1288 they passed a law that allowed women the same rights. The law also stated that any man who declined this proposal would be fined. The fine ranged from a kiss to payment for some silk. Recently the film Leap Year with Amy Adams reignites this tradition where she travels to Ireland with the intention of proposing to her boyfriend. But of course nothing goes as planned and she ends up being charmed by a Kerryman! If you plan on proposing here's how you can say it in Irish: An bpósfaidh tú mé? (pronounced On boh-sig too may) Good luck!

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