I turned to trusty Google for Leap Year Traditions. I discovered that Greek people don’t like to get married in a leap year and Scottish people think the year of the leap is bad for sheep. Oh, and the origins are shaky but quite old that women are allowed to propose to men on leap year without being judged—and there is usually some penalty if a man refuses.
image from Wikipedia
Not a lot of ancient pagan ritual to work with here. Time for me to come up with some traditions of my own.*
Since we use leap year to realign man’s arbitrary delineation of time with nature’s natural order, I think symbolism around alignment would be appropriate. I also like the backward nature of women being allowed to do things they normally aren’t supposed to do, and the same for men.
I officially propose the following Leap Day Traditions
- Holiday colors are black and white to represent the starry night sky and realigning time with the universe. Traditional gift is a houseplant (a bit of nature). If the houseplant survives until the next leap year four years down the road, it is a sign of good health and prosperity to come.
- Traditional activities—get an adjustment with a chiropractor, get a relaxation massage to align your body and spirit, rollerblade on in-line skates. Bars offer “Gentlmen’s night” where there is no cover charge for guys and guys get half priced drinks. Women get an automatic 25% discount with mechanics for being taken advantage of over the years. Pranks to test people's balance are encouraged - like tripping your friends or daring each other to slide on ice.
- Traditional meal should offer a dish of every color of the rainbow—a balance of color.
- The traditional dessert should be chocolate cake. Seriously—why isn’t that the official dessert of any holiday yet?
Those are my suggestions. They will be in full swing next Leap Year. What else can we add to the list?
*Actually, the time is passed, since Leap Day is almost over. I should have started a month ago and this post would have gone viral and everyone would be wearing black and white and tripping each other. Oh well. At least I have four years to plan for the next one.