Antique Leap Year Ecards Leap Year Postcards, Page 3
On the British isles, it is a tradition that women may propose marriage only on leap years. While it has been claimed that the tradition was initiated by Saint Patrick or Brigid of Kildare in 5th century Ireland, this is dubious, as the tradition was not known before the 19th century. Supposedly, a 1288 law by Queen Margaret of Scotland, required that fines be levied if a marriage proposal was refused by the man; compensation ranged from a kiss, to £1, to a silk gown, in order to soften the blow. Because men felt that put them at too great a risk, the tradition was in some places tightened to restricting female proposals to the modern leap day, February 29, or to the medieval (bissextile) leap day, February 24.
In Denmark, the tradition is that women may propose on the bissextile leap day, February 24, and that refusal must be compensated with 12 pairs of gloves, and in Finland, the tradition is that if a man refuses a woman's proposal on leap day, he should buy her the fabrics for a skirt.
Our authentic Leap Year / Leap Day postcards date from the leap years of 1908 & 1912.
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