29th February 2012
LEAP years are so named because the extra day means fixed religious festivals, such as Christmas, “leap” forward an extra day in the week.
Leap year day is added because the Earth takes 365 days, five hours, 48 minutes and 46 seconds to do one complete orbit of the Sun.
Adding an extra day every four years allows us to catch up so that the calendar year stays in tune with the seasons.
The Romans first had the idea in 46BC when their festivals got out of line.
Legend has it that the tradition of women proposing on this day was first decreed by St Patrick in 5th Century Ireland.
According to Scottish tradition, in 1288 Queen Margaret passed a law ordering men who refused proposals to pay a fine by giving the woman a kiss, gloves or a silk dress.
One tradition tells women planning to propose to wear a red petticoat to give men a chance to do a runner.
Almost half of men would accept a marriage proposal, says a poll by PopCap Games.
More than a third of Brit single girls are thinking about popping the question today, says a survey for the British Heart Foundation.
But a quarter of men fear a proposal, says a study for 3 Mobile.
A family in Dublin has two sets of twins born on February 29, four years apart.
There are about five million people in the world born on February 29. They’re called leaplings.
Celebs born on this day include ex-Corrie star Wendi Peters, who is 44 today but is celebrating only her 11th birthday.
Online hotel booking company LateRooms.com is offering 29% off for people born on the day.
The Society of Leap Year Day Babies has 9,000 members.
It is thought unlucky for couples to marry during a leap year in Greece.
And the World Travel Awards put the village of Snowshill in the Cotswolds, Glos, in its list of the top 10 most romantic places to pop the question.
Article taken from Daily Star.