OK, a small diversion from next Tuesday. It’s like watching paint dry – a nerve wrecker.
In case you did not notice, we are in a Leap Year – a quirk in the calendar to take care of the one quarter of a day that astronomers had to synchronize. So every four years one full day is added to the month of February – 29, February.
Show hands. Is today your birthday – are you a Leaping?
Your official birthday makes you a 20, 24, 28, 32, 36 or over 36?
“A person born on February 29 may be called a “leapling”. In common years they usually celebrate their birthdays on 28 February or 1 March.”
For legal purposes, their legal birthdays depend on how different laws count time intervals. In Taiwan, for example, the legal birthday of a leapling is 28 February in common years, so a Taiwanese leapling born on February 29, 1980 would have legally reached 18 years old on February 28, 1998.
Folk Traditions Wikipedia
In the English speaking world, it is a tradition that women may propose marriage only on leap years. While it has been argued that the tradition was initiated by Saint Patrick or Brigid of Kildare in 5th century Ireland, it is dubious as the tradition has not been attested before the 19th century. Supposedly, a 1288 law by Queen Margaret of Scotland (then age five and living in Norway), required that fines be levied if a marriage proposal was refused by the man; compensation ranged from a kiss to £1 to a silk gown, in order to soften the blow. Because men felt that put them at too great a risk, the tradition was in some places tightened to restricting female proposals to the modern leap day, 29 February, or to the medieval leap day, 24 February. According to Felten: “A play from the turn of the 17th century, ‘The Maydes Metamorphosis,’ has it that ‘this is leape year/women wear breeches.’
A few hundred years later, breeches wouldn’t do at all: Women looking to take advantage of their opportunity to pitch woo were expected to wear a scarlet petticoat — fair warning, if you will.”
In Greece, it is believed that getting married in a leap year is bad luck for the couple. Thus, mainly in the middle of the past century, couples avoided setting a marriage date in a leap year.
Share your story with us.
Have you ever been pulled over by the police and been told there must be an error; your driver’s license registers your birth date as 29 February.
“Yes officer, I was born on 29 February ” ..
The officer is adamant – no such date as 29 February… you’re pulled off to jail for having a forged document?
Will there be a special cake – say instead of candles, water falls or carousels?