Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Leap Day Legend

St. Patrick's Day is not quite here yet but I want to share a bit of old Irish folklore.  The legend involves St. Brigid, St. Patrick and Leap Day, February 29.

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.

Join me this week at:

Let's Talk Vintage at Bella Rosa Antiques
Pink Saturday at How Sweet the Sound

This forum reveals random thoughts and reflections on topics of interest and events impacting the life of the founder of Doll in the Looking Glass.  Our boutique specializes in custom designed dolls that look like your child. We also design toddler and baby dolls that look real using vinyl doll components manufactured in Midland, Michigan USA by Apple Valley Doll Works.  The goal of Doll in the Looking Glass is to delight our customers with our creations.  We would love to create a special doll for you!


Gina @ VictorianWannaBe said...

Hi Debra, you have such a nice collection of Leap Year postcards! I think I have a couple, I will go look for them here soon. I had no idea this was Leap Year! I enjoyed reading the legend.
Have a great week,

Jillian's Bella Rosa Antiques said...

Love these bits of history and folklore! Thanks so much for linking with "Let's Talk Vintage!"

LV said...

Guess I better pay more attention as I did not know it was leap year either. One thing far sure, I will not be proposing to anyone.

Jeannie Marie said...

What beautiful post cards! I knew the legend but not how it got started or anything about the fine for the man who refused (what a great idea!) But I'm loving the post cards!! I have a geocaching event to attend on Feb 29. The geocaching community gives out a souvenir for attending. As for taking advantage of the day... I'm a widow of 18 months and not even close to ready just yet to begin seeing anyone, so I'm fine to wait another four years for my chance.

RNSANE said...

Well, I am single but, at 71, I have no one in mind for a leap year proposal. Enjoyed learning of this legend. Beautiful pictures on your blog.

Laurie said...

I love the quaintness of the Leap Year tradition! Your cards are so pretty!

Ann said...

Well I guess it cold break the ice!! How different is that.I love vintage postcards.

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