{2.29.16} It’s “Leap Day” – that strange “extra day” that happens every four years (Leap Year). According to history, in a effort to clean up the somewhat messy calendar system, the Emperor Julius Cesar had one day added to every fourth year on the Gregorian calendar as a corrective measure. Why, you ask? Because the Earth does not orbit around the sun in exactly 365 days…it takes 365.2422 days, give or take.

Since Cesar’s adjustment, interesting traditions surrounding the extra day have emerged. According to old Irish legend, St Brigid struck a deal with St Patrick to allow women to propose to men – and not just the other way around – every four years. This is thought to have been introduced to balance the traditional roles of men and women in a similar way to how the leap day balances the calendar. In the United States, February 29th is referred to as “Sadie Hawkins Day” which has historically been attached to a school dance where (as you guessed it) the girls ask the boys. (Is anyone else noticing a trend?)

What does all this mean? Today is an opportunity for the woman to take matters into her own hands…and, (drum roll, please) propose. the_proposal02 Although today’s modern woman certainly does not need to wait on tradition for a proposal, we can’t think of a better reason to toss off the norms and (let’s be honest) still present mores of our society and make the move.

In our research, we also stumbled across a prayer that was written by a female cleric for people planning a leap year day marriage proposal. The prayer, for 29 February, asks for blessings on the engaged couple. It reminds them that wedding plans should not overtake preparations for a lifetime together:

“God of love, please bless N and N as they prepare for the commitment of marriage. May the plans for the wedding not overtake the more important preparation for their lifetime together. Please bless their family and friends as they prepare for this special day and may your blessing be upon them now and always. Amen.”

Frankly, we find the words of the February 29th prayer good advice for any newly-engaged couples…not matter who did the asking.