Eons ago, when I was still a little lass in blue pinafore, we had a joke about Leap Day and it goes something like this:
A not-so-attractive guy takes a deep breath and asks a girl for a date on Valentine’s Day. Girl looks at him, thinks for a bit and says, no, not on Valentine’s Day…. Poor dejected chap looks for hole to hide in. But girl continues, “Not on Valentine’s Day but is 30th OK with you?”
Oooooooh, boy is beside himself with excitement. He’s blue and breathless, he’s crazy happy. Until it dawns on him, “February 30th ??”
But now, I find out that there IS a February 30th. Really. In the 1700s in Sweden. And in the Soviet Union in 1930 and 1931. There’s a lot of words explaining this in www.timeanddate.com – something about a couple of guys named Julian and Gregorian, something about different types of calendars…
Everything’s OK now, no more confusion. Let’s all agree – there is no February 30th.
While we got that bit resolved, fascination with the leap year continues, however.
A little town down in Texas, United States of America, called Anthony (Julian, Gregorian…and now Anthony – why are these guys getting us all confused with leap year?) is known as the “Leap Capital of the World” and it continues to host the Worldwide Leap Year Festival up until this day. What they do there then, only God and Google can tell us.
While this town is obviously captivated by the intercalary (yippee, I learned a new word today) day, the Keogh family in Ireland is living it every day. For three generations. According to the Guinness Book of Records, Peter Anthony was born in Ireland on February 29, 1940, while his son Peter Eric was born on the Leap Day in the United Kingdom (UK) in 1964. Peter’s daughter, Bethany Wealth, was, in turn, born in the UK on February 29, 1996. Fascinating!
In Scotland, it used to be considered unlucky for someone to be born on Leap Day (while noone could explain why, *I* can. That’s because you get presents just once every four years. That’s pretty darn unlucky to me). The Greeks, they say, don’t marry during a Leap Year, and God forbid, on Leap Day!
But I don’t like that Leap Year, Leap Day is getting all this negative publicity. Because, look, in Ireland, women can take over the reins and propose to their men on Leap Day. Yes, women propose. Think the 2010 movie “Leap Year”, starring Amy Adams, Matthew Goode and that accent!
Here’s the best part – if the man refuses the proposal (BOOOO!), he is expected to pay a penalty in the form of a gown, 12 pairs of gloves or cold-hard cash! (YAAAAY). During the middle ages, there were even laws governing this tradition. I LOVE IT!
For that reason, in some places today, Leap Day is known as “Bachelors’ Day”
So on Leap Day this year, do something insane. Do something different. Buy your man dinner. Clean the house. Propose to your man.
From “Behind Her Lens”
BHL (I’ve checked the initials – it’s not a swear, it’s not trademarked) is a sort of spin-off of Louis’ blog posts. Working at the studio, while necessary, is not so good for the lower half of my body so I take every opportunity I can to get off this chair. Photo assignments, shoes, holidays, kids, girlie issues…if they take me off this chair and bring me out for a virtual walk, let’s talk about them all here.