This February marks another leap year when those born on 29th February celebrate their quadrennial birthdays and girlfriends propose to their boyfriends. But, what other more bizarre things are associated with leap years?
We’ve put together a definitive list of myths, facts and utter randomness…you definitely won’t believe some of them!
- Those born on 29th February are known as ‘leapers’ or ‘leaplings’.
- There are more than 5 million leaplings worldwide, according to Reuters reports.
- There’s a 1 in 1,461 chance of being born on a leap day.
- In England, Wales and most U.S states, the legal birthday of a leapling is 1st March.
- The tradition that a woman can propose to a man is believed by some to have been created by St Bridget during the 5th century when she complained that women were having to wait too long for their beloveds to propose.
- It is also rumoured that Queen Margaret of Scotland was the one who introduced the fines for those men who refused the proposals…she was only five years old at the time.
- The fines were a kiss, a silk dress, or a pair of gloves that had to be given to the rejected maiden.
- When proposing, it was said that the woman needed to wear a scarlet petticoat.
- A fifth of couples in Greece choose not to set their wedding date during a leap year as they believe it to be bad luck.
- No leap year that can be divided by 100 will be classed as a leap year, unless it can be divided by 400. So, the year 2000 was a leap year but 2100 won’t be.
- Scottish farmers also believe that livestock and crops are affected by leap years, hence the old proverb, “Leap year was ne’er a good sheep year.”
- The Keogh family hold the record for the most generations of one family being born on a leap day. On leap day in 1940, Peter Anthony Keogh was born, followed by his son, Peter Eric, in 1964 and then his granddaughter, Bethany Wealth, in 1996.
- The traditional cocktail to be had on a leap day consists of 2 ounces of gin, ½ ounce Grand Mariner, ½ ounce of sweet vermouth and ½ ounce of fresh lemon juice. Finish in a cocktail glass with a lemon twist to garnish!