Happy Pseudo Sadie Hawkins Day!
Did you know that in the English speaking world, there’s a tradition that women may propose marriage on leap years? Yep. Surprise!
While it has been argued that the tradition was initiated by Saint Patrick or Brigid of Kildare in 5th century Ireland, it is dubious as the tradition has not been attested before the 19th century. Supposedly, a 1288 law by Queen Margaret of Scotland (then age five and living in Norway), required that fines be levied if a marriage proposal was refused by the man; compensation ranged from a kiss to a pound (money, nothing kinky– they didn’t have S&M in the 13th century) to a silk gown, in order to let the girl down easy.
Because men felt that put them at too great a risk, the tradition was in some places tightened to restricting female proposals to the modern leap day, February 29.
In modern times, of course, we knows this as Sadie Hawkins Day, made famous by the denizens of Dogpatch in Li’l Abner— although that takes place in mid-November, one can never be too careful when being chased by dames. You’ve all been warned.