Liven Up Your Leap Year

leap yearThis February, would you take the plunge?

The more calendar savvy among you may have noticed that 2016 is no ordinary year. This February is in fact a leap month, which can mean only one thing… unorthodox wedding proposals!

That’s right, February 29th, otherwise known as the leap day, is the one day of the year when it is traditionally acceptable for women to propose to their men (feminists make of that what you will).

And not only that, babies who are born on a leap day are considered to be extremely lucky, so good news for all the ladies that will be giving birth to living four leaf clovers at the end of this month.

But where did all of the superstitions surrounding the leap year come from? And why do we need one anyway?

It all started a mere 2000 years ago in the 1st century. The Roman emperor Caesar Augustus had named the month of August after himself (because apparently you were allowed to do things like that back then). However, his predecessor Julius Caesar who some of you may know from the Bible, had already bagged July for himself and had given it 31 days.

Augustus clocked that his month only had 29 days, which was never going to work for a man with a bigger ego than Kanye West’s. So Augustus ‘borrowed’ a couple of days from February to level the playing field, leaving February with a measly 28.

This was all well and good, but then astronomer Sosigenes threw a spanner in the works when he realised that the calendar was never right in the first place, and that the earth actually takes slightly over 365 days to orbit the sun (365.2422 to be precise).

So one of the months would need to be given an extra day every four years to balance out the calendar. February, being so much shorter than the other months, was the obvious choice and so the leap year was born.

The whole women proposing idea wasn’t thought up until a few hundred years later in 5th Century Ireland, when history’s answer to Carrie Bradshaw, St Brigid, complained to St Patrick that women whose fellas were too shy to propose, were being left on the shelf.

St Patrick, being the forward thinking guy that he was, offered women the chance to propose on one special day every seven years. Brigid managed to haggle him down to four years (on every leap day). Apparently as soon as St Paddy agreed, Brigid decided she had had enough of playing the field and immediately got down on one knee.

Unfortunately, Paddy wasn’t interested and turned poor Brigid down. However, he was chivalrous enough to give her a silk gown as a consolation prize which sparked the tradition that if a woman’s leap day proposal is turned down, her suitor must give her a gown. So bare that one in mind ladies!

All novelty traditions aside, February 29th has become a symbol of independence for women around the world. Ladies across the globe will seize the opportunity to show their loved one how they feel in the most romantic way and most of them will be understandably nervous.

So… We thought we would remind you all that men don’t always get it right when it comes to marriage proposals. In fact, you might actually be better off taking matters into you own hands!

We have scoured the web for some of the most disastrous proposal stories but don’t worry, not all of them end in a rejection, check out the most cringe worthy proposals below:

Mixed messages:

“A guy I knew (a really stupid guy) got his girlfriend a diamond ring as a birthday present, not intending any larger message. She unwrapped it and said, “Oh, Stupid Guy! Of course I will!”

“He went through with it rather than deal with the awkwardness.

“Didn’t last.”

The almost break up:

“My wife says that the way I proposed was a traumatic experience and she wishes that I had done something a bit different. She was six months pregnant with our first child. We were living in our first shared crappy apartment getting ready to go to a fair. (Why I didn’t do it at the fair or something I couldn’t tell you).

“What I did do was morosely tell her there was something we needed to talk about. I sat her down and proceeded to tell her there was something bugging me in the relationship, and the “way I see it there is only one way to fix it”… Will you marry me.

“She genuinely thought that I was breaking up with her and leaving her stuck [with a] child to raise on her own before those last words came out. She started crying and eventually hit me, then said yes. I am a lucky man to have her, I just wish I could have asked in a little different way!”

A drunken blunder:

“Drunk. At a rock festival.

“With a ring made of two pieces of grass knotted together.

“She said yes and I realised I’d made a terrible mistake.”

Risky business:

“I proposed to my wife using the police. I had her get pulled over and then they told her she was the suspect in a theft crime. She got all nervous and then the police officer pulled out a picture of me and told her “you stole this man’s heart.”

“Then I got out of the back of the cop car and dropped the knee. She liked it.”

The diet plan:

“The way my dad proposed to my mum. It just happened randomly:

Dad: How much weight do you think you can lose by September?
Mum: Wait, what?
Dad: I was thinking we could have the wedding then.

“He’s not known for having a lot of tact.”

The horror story:

proposals“Arrange a fancy date night with your girlfriend, including dinner at a posh restaurant. In the middle of the meal, fake a brain aneurysm. Bite into a concealed blood pack, collapse and fall onto the floor, the whole bit. A “doctor” or a “nurse” planted at an adjacent table rolls you onto your back, checks you, and says that you’re not breathing and you have no pulse. He or she rips open your shirt to apply a defibrillator… revealing “WILL YOU MARRY ME?” written on your chest in red body paint.

“Pull out the ring, and say, “I can’t live without you, baby.””

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