Traditionally it was the responsibility of the man to ask his sweetheart for her hand in marriage. Women often became frustrated waiting for their suitor to propose marriage. St. Brigid stepped forward and made a deal with St. Patrick that gave women the privilege of proposing marriage -- but only on February 29 -- a date that came around only every four years.
Legend states that men were subjected to a fine if they refused a February 29 marriage proposal. The fine could be money, enough fabric for a gown or twelve pair of gloves. The story states the reason for the gloves is to prevent embarrassment by hiding the lack of a ring on the woman's hand.
The postcards pictured here are from 1916 and celebrate the opportunity for women to approach their sweetheart with a marriage proposal . Were these postcards actually used to initiate a proposal of marriage? The back side of two of these cards do not contain a message. The remaining card was sent by a woman to a man in April of 1916 and contains an invitation to stop by her home to prepare for a potluck supper they both were planning to attend.
Hope you find a special way to celebrate Leap Day, February 29.
Until next time, live and love well.
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