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‘Couples who get married on Feb 29…’: Check superstitions, traditions around Leap Year 2024

The year 2024 has an extra day as February will have 29 Day. People born on 29 February who are also known as leaplings will finally get to celebrate their birthdays on their exact birth date. For leap day babies, being born on 29 February may mean four times fewer birthdays, However, some also see it as the key to eternal youth. There are about 5 million people worldwide who share the Leap birthday out of about 8 billion people on the planet, as per AP report.

What is a leap year?

Since the 16th century, leap years was an invention of the Gregorian calendar, to address a discrepancy in the solar year. Bearing in mind it takes around 365.2422 days each year for the Earth to revolve around the sun, the extra snippet (around six hours a year) adds up over time. Leap days regulate things — without them we would fall out of sync with the seasons, causing havoc for farmers and their crops as well as school holidays. But, do you know, cultures around the world hold difference significance of this day as some consider leap year as opportunity while some consider leap days, months whereas the whole year as bad luck.

Leap year traditions and superstitions

Leap Year tradition in Ireland

In Ireland, February 29 is known as Bachelor’s Day or Ladies Privilege, when, tradition has it, women can propose to men rather than waiting to be wooed. While some claim only a “Yes” answer is allowed, others say the man can decline, but must buy his admirer a gift.

Bad omen for leap day marriages

In accordance with Greek customs, marrying during a leap year, particularly on a leap day is considered unlucky as reports state that the marriage could lead to divorce, The Quint has reported.

Suffering for leaplings and rise in deaths?

In Scotland, there exists a belief that people who are born on a leap day will experience a life filled with hardships. Not just this, but overall, some consider leap year as a bad year for farmers. Some reports of superstitions linked to the year are that the number of deaths also suddenly rises and many people die in that particular year.

Special ‘pig trotter noodles’ meal for parents in Taiwan

In Taiwan, it is believed that elderly parents are more prone to passing away every four years. So for their long life, married daughters are expected to come back home during leap years with pig trotter noodles for their parents as the noodle dish is believed to convey wishes of good health and fortune for the ageing parents. This soup is served to the parents throughout the month, specifically on 29 February.

Special newspaper

In France, a special newspaper is published every four years specifically on February 29th, The Travel Leisure has reported The tradition of publishing the newspaper La Bougie du Sapeur tradition has been since in 1980. The La Bougie du Sapeur, translates to Sapper’s Candle, is named after leaping character Sapper Camember, featured in an old French comic strip. On this day, the news paper is available in France, Luxemborg and Belgium and is considered to see huge sales every time on stands.

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Published: 28 Feb 2024, 12:55 PM IST

One thought on “‘Couples who get married on Feb 29…’: Check superstitions, traditions around Leap Year 2024

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