Saturday, February 25, 2012

Take a Leap Into Leap Year With Stories!

Maiden Song by
Emma Florence Harrison, 1910
2012 is a Leap Year and I for one am delighted to have an extra day!  We can thank Julius Caesar for the extra 24 hours. In some cultures Leap Year is also a time when a woman may turn the tables and propose to the man she wishes to marry. Here are just a few of the interesting customs around the world.

  • In the British Isles, it is a tradition that women may propose marriage only on leap years.
  • A 1288 law by Queen Margaret of Scotland required that fines be levied if a marriage proposal was refused by the man; compensation ranged from a kiss to a silk gown, in order to soften the blow.
  • Later, women looking to take advantage of their opportunity to proposal marriage were expected to wear a scarlet petticoat as fair warning.
  • In Denmark, the tradition is that women may propose on the bissextile leap day, February 24, and that refusal must be compensated with 12 pairs of gloves.
  • In Finland, the tradition is that if a man refuses a woman's proposal on leap day, he should buy her the fabric for a skirt.
  • In Greece, marriage in a leap year is considered unlucky.
The information above was found at the following links:


Below are some stories that will hopefully make you “leap” for joy!

Two Feasts and a Leap Day – Ukraine

The Death Leap of Tikawe – Maori

The Leap – Aesop

The Leap-Frog – Danish

Leap the Elk and Princess Tuvstarr (Cottongrass) – Sweden

And of course, if we are talking about leaping we can’t leave out our friendly frogs! Here is a blog post I wrote in April of 2010 to celebrate National Frog Month.


Child Fun – Leap year crafts, songs and activities.

Leap Year Party Games and Printables – Lots of fun things here including a frog puppet, maze and more.


Leap Year Math Quiz

Lesson Plans – For grades 6 through 7.

Jump Rope RHYME

Leap Year, Leap Year
When will you be?
Every four years
Then you'll see.
You want more?
We do too!
How many more
can you Leap to?