As we know, 2024 is in fact a leap year and with that comes stipulation and tradition that women may be permitted to propose to men on the 29th of February. Traditions can be a lovely thing, but here at Chupi, we believe that anyone should feel empowered to propose 365 (or 366) days a year.
We took a look into the ancient tradition, which as it happened, originated in Ireland. It is said to have begun in the 5th Century, when St. Brigid of Kildare complained to St. Patrick that women had to wait far too long for men to propose. St. Patrick is said to have offered that women be allowed to propose on one day every seven years, but Brigid convinced him to make it one every four years and thus St. Patrick decreed that women could propose on this one day in February during the leap year.
Tradition Then Traveled
The tradition was then taken to Scotland by Irish monks. In 1288, the Scots passed a law that allowed a woman to propose marriage to the man of their dreams on a leap year, with the law also stating that any man who declined the proposal on this day would have to pay a fine.
In some upper-class European societies, where the man rejected the woman, he was required to provide a parting gift. Thus could come in different forms, though typically the man was expected to buy the woman gloves, a silk gown or, by the mid-20th century, a fur coat.
Fast forward a few hundred years, in some places, February 29 has been renamed Bachelors' Day because of the tradition.
We will be marking the leap year at Chupi, but not because of the outdated tradition, we acknowledge there is still a lot to be done for equality, but we want to celebrate how far society has come, that we are no longer limiting our expression of love based on traditional gender roles. Why wait for the 29th of February when every day is an opportunity to mark the start of forever?
Empowering ourselves to propose at any time of the year not only challenges stereotypes but also paves the way for more equal and inclusive relationships. It's about embracing a mindset where both partners contribute to important decisions, including when and how to take the next step. When we feel free to express our love whenever we choose, we're not just rewriting the rules; we're championing equality and fostering relationships built on mutual respect and shared responsibility. So, go ahead, take the lead, and let your love story unfold in your own way!
Here at Chupi, your stories are such an inspiration for what we do, if you have a proposal story you’d like to share - we’d love to hear from you at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Keep an eye out, we will be releasing additional tips and guides on proposing to the one you love this leap year.