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Valentines Day on a leap year

Girls... Leap to it this Valentines Day! It’s your turn to propose to Mr Right!

2008 has extra special significance for those wanting to tie the knot!

According to tradition, women are allowed to propose marriage during a leap year – the most popular day for this being of course, Valentines Day!

History of Valentines Day: Do we know why we celebrate love on the 14th of February?

It all began with Saint Valentine, a priest in Rome during the time of Emperor Claudius II. When Claudius found that men were not volunteering to join his military as they didn’t want to leave their wives or families, he outlawed marriages and engagements in order to get more soldiers to join. Young people and those in love thought the law cruel, and nicknamed the Emperor, Claudius the Cruel. Saint Valentine, disagreeing with the Emperor’s cruel law, continued to secretly marry couples during this time. He was eventually apprehended and jailed, sentenced to death on February 14th 269AD. While in jail, he befriended the prison guard’s blind daughter, who, being a strong supporter of his values and beliefs, spent much time talking with him at his cell. It is said that his love and admiration for her, and his strong faith, actually healed her blindness. Before his execution, Saint Valentine left her farewell note thanking her for her loyalty, support and friendship. He signed this, “Love from your Valentine” – which is thought to be the origination of the exchange of Valentines messages.

St Valentine is now the patron saint of lovers, and Valentines Day in modern times as we all know it, has became a day to celebrate love, exchange messages of love and to give gifts – popularly chocolates, sending flowers or giving jewellery.

What makes a Leap Year so special for women who want to tie the knot??

The special significance of a leap year for women proposing marriage stems historically from the 13th Century in Scotland (or so it’s said!) when Queen Mary set the law that women could propose to any man they liked during a leap year, with refusal being allowed only if he was already engaged. If men did reject the proposal they were hit with a fine and made to buy the woman either a silk dress or a pair of gloves. (How times have changed!)

Another theory dates back even earlier in history! It is said that during the 5th Century in Ireland, St. Bridget convinced St. Patrick to allow women to propose marriage on the 29th day of February (each leap year) Again, if the man refused, he was fined! Apparently St Bridget proposed to St Patrick on that day, who incidentally refused! Bad luck for Bridge, but the tradition still continued across the ages!

In the US, Valentines Day is referred to by many as Sadie Hawkins Day. On this day it is tradition for women to chase after unmarried men to propose. Sadie Hawkins was a character in a comic originating in the 1930’s whose father was worried would remain single. In the comic, he organised a special day called Sadie Hawkins Day where unmarried women chased bachelors in the hope of his daughter finding a partner. This lives on in the US every Valentines Day.

Whether it’s all truth, or complete myth, the tradition lives on! So girls this year it’s your turn!

In modern times it’s not unlikely for women to pop the question, any time, any year and not specifically during a leap year. Wedding Central’s forum alone holds so many stories of successful proposals by women to their partners!

It’s just a fun excuse to make the most of a Leap Year Valentines Day! Girls, are you waiting for your man to pop the question? Bite the bullet, make it fun, and take the Valentines Day Leap Year Proposal opportunity!

Go on!

Need advice? Moral support?? Ask a question on the forum and get some back-up!



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