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Friday, February 29, 2008

Ladies Privilege

The Gregorian calendar contains 365 days per year, with an extra day, February 29th, intercalated to make up the difference between the calendar year and the astronomical year. Every four years, this extra day comes into play on what has come to be called a "leap year."

Today is Leap Day, 2008.

All calendars have some sort of intercalated period to account for the difference, except for Muslims (of course), because Allah deemed them blasphemous (of course). People born on Leap Day are called "leaplings" and traditionally celebrate their birthdays on February 28th and Catholics change their February religious holidays accordingly, postponing them a day in leap years.

According to some sources, women in the Western world could only propose to men in leap years. However, this is disputed by many as historically inaccurate. It is supposed to go back to the 5th-Century but no actual references exist before the 19th-Century. In Greece, it is considered bad luck to get married during a leap year.

"Leap Day" got its name because English courts did not officially recognize the 29th of February; they basically "leapt" past the day when it came up on the calendar. If a crime was committed on this day, it was treated as though it had never occurred!

Many of the superstitions surrounding Leap Day and Leap Years have to do with the "between" magic of Aelfheim and the Faerie World. These are most prevalent in Irish folklore. General superstition decrees leap years as "lucky" years for entering business ventures and this very date as particularly auspicious for business matters and dealings!

Happy Leap Day and Leap Year!

© C Harris Lynn, 2008

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