A leap year happens every four years to keep our calendar in sync with the 365.2425 days it takes planet Earth to revolve around the sun. Over the years certain traditions have evolved celebrating this special day.
According to an old Irish legend, St. Brigid, an Irish nun and founder of several monasteries of nuns, struck a deal with St. Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland. They agreed women could propose to men on leap day.
This agreement evolved into Bachelor’s Day. On this special day women could initiate dances, ask men out on dates, and even propose marriage. If a man refused the woman’s request he had to buy her a silk gown or perhaps a fur coat.
In Scotland it is considered to be very unlucky to be born on February 29th. And the Greeks considered it very unlucky for couples to marry during a leap year and especially on a leap day.
St. Oswald, the archbishop of York who died February 29, 992 AD has his special day on leap day. His feast day is celebrated on February 29th.
Many famous people were born on February 29th. For example, Dinah Shore, the famous pop singer, swimmer Jessica Long, composer Jimmy Dorsey, and author Tony Robbins were all born on a leap day. And let’s not forget Superman. His birthday was established to be on February 29th in Superman Annual #11 in 1985, which Time Magazine confirmed in a 1988 article.
There is a 1 in 1,461 chance that a baby will be born on a leap day. If such an occasion arises, those children celebrate their birthdays on February 28 or March 1 on the three years leading to their special birthday.
If you’re not celebrating your birthday Monday, February 29th, 2016 perhaps you can celebrate Leap Day by asking that special guy in your life out on a date, a dance, or perhaps propose marriage. And guys, be nice. It’s Leap Day!