Etiquette & superstition: Leap Year


Serial killers Aileen Wuornos and Richard Ramirez were both born on February 29th. But so were Gioachino Rossini, Dinah Shore, Jimmy Dorsey, and Ja Rule, so you probably shouldn’t be scared of people born on Leap Year Day unless you are melophobic.

ETIQUETTE: February 29th is well known as the day women may propose marriage to men in societies where this is not normally accepted. It is considered polite for a woman to provide the object of her affections fair warning in the form of bold attire (pants or a red petticoat) that a proposal is forthcoming. If the man declines the proposal, he must provide compensation for the slight. According to time and local custom, this remittance may take the form of cash, candy, a dress or twelve pairs of gloves.

SUPERSTITION: Your fava beans will grow backwards and your sheep will give you nothing but trouble during Leap Year. Also, your parents are probably going to die. It might be best to ignore the farm completely and look for baby whales, who are only born during Leap Year. Thank goodness for baby whales.

Image provided by Monmouth University Leap Year Postcard Database; more information about Leap Year postcards here
Many thanks to Bedilia Hawks for today’s topic

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