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Where does the leap year traditions come from?

Today is a rather peculiar day, it only comes around once every 4 years, was a day which had no legal status in old English law but was one of the very first steps towards equality between men and women. How so? Well in many countries a leap year signified the only time it was legally acceptable for a women to ask a man to marry her. The first documentation of such a practice dates from 1288, where in Scotland a law was passed in which made it legal for a woman to ask a man to marry her in that year, if the man refused however, he must pay a fine which could be anything from a kiss to a silk dress! Another possible origin of this tradition is from Ireland in which a women was allowed to propose as they believed it balanced the traditional roles of men and women. If the proposal was rejected the man had to buy the women 12 pairs of gloves so she could hide her hands from the shame of not wearing an engagement ring!

In many of today’s cultures it has become perfectly acceptable for a women to ask a man to marry her, around 10% of women are ready to break with tradition today and propose to their man. Even without the threat of a fine around a third of men actually admitted wanting their partner to ask to take the pressure of them having to do it. 

So if you’re planning to break from tradition and propose today good luck, and if he says no, demand that silk gown!!!

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