Tuesday, February 25th, 2020
This year is special because it’s a leap year, and we have a 29th day in February.
Coming from a 5th century deal allegedly made between St Bridget and St Patrick and originally known as Bachelor’s Day, this Irish tradition allowed ladies to take the initiative in matters of dancing and marriage requests, once every four years. Refusal, no matter how polite, left the man in question under obligation to buy the lady a silk dress, or by mid 20th century, a fur coat, as recompense.
Is it merely a license now or something more sinister? Certainly the tradition continues in some countries (Finland, for instance). However, it seems strange that it is still observed, given growing equality and empowerment for women.
Whilst no modern woman needs the permission the Leap Year tradition entails, there still remains a great deal of fondness for tradition and custom around love and marriage. Why the caustic comments made about women who choose to propose, that they are fed up with waiting, the partner is weak etc. are never made about men in the same position is galling. The only reason needed is love.
Whatever you do this February 29th, you know that love has maximum feel good factors – long may that last. At the hormonal level you do yourself only good by falling for someone: you are happier and more optimistic, which boosts your serotonin levels, keeping depression away and allowing you to sleep well. Physical touch is an oxytocin that helps create social bonds and increases dramatically when in love; that fluttery feeling you have is extra dopamine in your body. Enjoy it! You deserve to be happy.