Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Vintage Leap Year Cards




Leap Year has quite a history. I found that in the restricted society of the early 1900's, leap year gave women the opportunity to pursue and ask a man to marry her. I am not sure that this is really true. I do know that pioneers would marry after only a few hours of meeting.


As the story goes, the tradition of women romantically pursuing men in leap years began in 5th century Ireland, when St Bridget complained to St. Patrick about the fair sex having to wait for men to propose.  Patrick finally relented and set February 29 aside as the day set aside allowing women the right to ask for a man's hand in marriage.


The tradition continued in Scotland, when Queen Margaret declared in 1288 that on February 29 a woman had the right to pop the question to any man she fancied. Menfolk who refused were faced with a fine in the form of a kiss, a silk dress, or a pair of gloves given to the rejected lady fair.


A similar modern American tradition, Sadie Hawkins Day. In the famous story line, Sadie and every other woman in town were allowed on that day to pursue and catch the most eligible bachelors in Dogpatch. In fact I named one of my Dexter cows after a character in that cartoon, Daisy Mae, a pretty girl.


Happy Leap Year Day! Maybe I should ask Hubby out for dinner.   Sharon