February is a little more interesting in a leap year

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leap year, february in scrabble letters

Okay, lazies, you can’t drop the “R” in Feb-RU-ary. It’s not pronounced FebYOUary, like JanYOUary. Just want to get that out of the way. Some may see the extra “R” as too complicated to pronounce, but it is part of the charm of the month. Even more charming this year is that it is a leap year, which means February will have 29 days instead of the usual 28.

To understand why this happens involves math, particularly division. If that’s important to you, following this link. But if you are more interested in the traditions and superstitions of the leap year, continue reading.

Taking a big leap

Perhaps one of the most common leap year traditions is that it is acceptable for a woman to propose marriage to a man instead of the other way around. You would think that, at this point in history, it would be perfectly fine for a woman to ask a man to marry her. However, recent studies show that most women still prefer the man to do the asking. Except during leap year, apparently.

There are some crazy theories about how this tradition came about, including a wild story about St. Bridget proposing marriage to St. Patrick. However, many historians agree that it is a kind of “what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas” situation. Since Feb. 29 does not officially belong to the calendar, the rules do not apply.

Bad luck in a leap year?

Unfortunately, even if a man accepts a woman’s marriage proposal, the couple would be wise to plan the marriage a year in advance. One superstition says that getting married in a leap year will bring a couple bad luck. The same is apparently true for any big action, such as buying a car, changing jobs, or moving.

Some hold to the belief that leap year is a time when more deaths occur. This makes sense since there is an extra day in which people might die. If you were born on February 29, you are among a rare group. This may delight you, or it may be a lifelong frustration.

Like most superstitions, those that surround leap year depend on your perspective. I know that this year, my rent on my apartment will cover one extra day. The same is true for my insurance, my phone bill, and any other monthly fees.

However, salaried employees like my husband donate an extra day of work for the same wages. And anyone who I serving a prison sentence, license suspension or deployment may find that time stretching a little longer. Either way, it’s one more day to love and to be loved, one more opportunity to live life to the fullest.

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