Leap year superstitions

Leap year superstitions include proposing to a man. What do you think of this? Picture: File/Fotor.

Leap YEAR superstitions: Dos and don’ts for 2024

One of the strangest leap year superstitions is that women ‘have the right’ to propose on February 29. This and more at the link …

Leap year superstitions

Leap year superstitions include proposing to a man. What do you think of this? Picture: File/Fotor.

2024 is a rare year, and one that will be full of strange leap year superstitions. Leap years come along once every four years (or so) and not only is it an election year for South Africa but there are a couple of leap year superstitions that apply, too.

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The strangest and most antiquated of leap year superstitions must be women ‘having the right’ to propose on 29 February. According to Historic.com, this one harks back to ancient England. Go figure.


Leap year superstitions
Women ‘have the right’ propose to men on February 29. Picture: GettyImages.

As if to prove how antiquated the colonialists were, leap year day (February 29) was not recognised by English law. Hence why it is known as ‘leap year/day’, as in ‘leapt over’ and ignored. Sadly, it seems women were also leapt over and ignored in that time. That’s why they were ‘allowed’ to take advantage of the anomaly and propose to a man they wanted to marry.

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Worse still, women were encouraged to wear a red petticoat underneath their dress that was partly visible to the man when proposing. It’s believed this leap year superstition guaranteed he would say yes. In Ireland and Scotland, there was a fine for not saying yes to a proposal on the day, later known as ‘Bachelor’s Day’.

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We for one are ecstatic that society has moved past this antiquated superstition. But you never know who’s still going take advantage of this antiquated tradition on Thursday 29 February 2024.


Leap year superstitions
Europeans have strange ideas about the leap year. Picture: GettyImages.

According to The Independent, European folklore says that getting married during a leap year will ultimately end in divorce. Other nations believe it is incredibly fortuitous to be married in a leap year or to give birth to a ‘leapling’ on 29 February.

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What are your thoughts on these leap year superstitions? Be sure to share your thoughts with our audience in the comments section below. And don’t forget to follow us @TheSANews on X and The South African on Facebook for the latest updates.