OK, so we all know February 29 = a woman’s chance to ask a man to marry them. Well, traditionally.
But we’ve discovered – thanks to some serious Googling – that in different places around the world there’s some other pretty random things that crop up when it’s a Leap Year.
(However, we should say now that we’re unsure how many people take these entirely seriously…)
1. If a man says no to marriage, he has to buy her 12 pairs of gloves.
In many European countries, such as Denmark, tradition says any man who refuses a woman’s proposal on February 29 has to buy her 12 pairs of gloves. Yes, 12. Seems slightly excessive doesn’t it?
But apparently, the intention behind the winter wear is that they can hide the woman’s embarrassment of not having an engagement ring. Great.
FYI, in Finland, we read it’s fabric for a skirt instead of gloves.
2. You might wan’t to avoid getting married at all this year…
People in Greece say it’s unlucky for couples to marry during a leap year – especially on actual Leap Day.
3. There’s legit a “leap year capital of the world”.
The US town of Anthony, the self-proclaimed “Leap Year Capital of the World” celebrates with a Leap Year Festival every four years.
4. In Italy, they have sayings about leap years – and they’re a bit gloomy.
Apparently, one saying goes “anno bisesto, anno funesto” (leap year, gloomy year). It means there are legit warnings against planning special activities such as weddings. The reason?
Well, maybe the saying “Anno bisesto tutte le donne senza sesto”. It means “In a leap year, women are erratic.”
5. People in Russia don’t look upon leap years too fondly either apparently…
They reckon leap years are associated with freak weather and a higher risk of dying.
6. In Taiwan, there’s a superstition to do with….pig trotter noodles.
In this country, parents are thought more likely to die during a leap year.
There’s a saying in Taiwan that because of the greater risk to the parentsâ€™ life during this time, a married daughter should return home during the leap month and bring pig trotter noodles to her parents – to wish them good health and good fortune.
7. If you own livestock, you might wanna pay extra attention to this superstition…
In Scotland, a leap year is thought to be bad for livestock. This is why Scottish people sometimes say “Leap year was neâ€™er a good sheep year.”
Well, apparently anyway.
8. Italy have a special name for Leap Years…to do with whales.
In Reggio Emilia in the northern part of the country, a leap year can also be referred to as “lâ€™ann dâ€™ la baleina”.
That literally means “the whaleâ€™s year” and it’s because they believe that whales give birth only during leap years. Riiiiiight.
9. And here’s a cute leap year tradition to do with childhood crushes…and trees.
In the villages of southern Germany, there’s a tradition of boys putting up a small May tree in their love interestâ€™s back garden during the night before May Day.
But in leap years? It becomes the girlsâ€™ turn to put up the trees. Awwww.