Bachelor's Day (tradition)

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Humorous postcard celebrating the opportunity in 1908

Bachelor's Day is an Irish tradition on Leap Day allowing women to initiate dances and propose marriage.[1] If the proposal was refused the man was expected to buy the woman a silk gown or, by the mid-20th century, a fur coat.[1][2] The tradition is supposed to originate from a deal that Saint Bridget struck with Saint Patrick.[3][4]

In the United Kingdom, a woman was allowed to propose marriage on Leap Day[5] and if refused the man was obliged to buy her new gloves on Easter Day. In some areas a woman could propose for the entire leap year.[1]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c Marriage Customs of the World: An Encyclopedia of Dating Customs and Wedding Traditions, Expanded Second Edition [2 Volumes] George Monger ABC-CLIO, Apr 9, 2013
  2. ^ The Witches' Almanac, Issue 30: Spring 2011-Spring 2012 Andrew Theitic
  3. ^ "Leap Day Customs & Traditions".
  4. ^ 李齐. "'Will you marry me?' she says". China Daily.
  5. ^ "'Excuse Me, But I Think You're Sitting on My Hershey Bar' and Other Openers". The Washington Post. 29 February 1980. p. D5.