Leap year: From proposal to pig trotter noodles, 6 strange traditions followed on February 29

It is February 29, the great leap day, as it comes once in four years, here are six strange beliefs and practices around the world that will amaze you

Leap year is considered lucky in some places and unlucky in some other places. February 29 has interesting traditions followed by many countries. Here are six such strange traditions practised in countries including Denmark, Ireland, Taiwan, Germany and others.

1) Proposal

On the leap year day (February 29), that comes once in four years, men in Denmark equally love it as well as hate it. In Denmark, it is the day women can propose and men cannot decline. If any man says no to a proposal on February 29, then he has to buy 12 pairs of gloves for that woman as a punishment. The rule was made by Queen Margaret of Scotland in 1288 and ruled 12 gloves (which was quite expensive then) as punishment for those refusing a proposal by a lady.

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2) Red petticoat

Another interesting tradition followed in Scotland is that women who plan to propose on February 29 must wear red petticoat. According to Irish folklore, it is the day granted by St Patrick for women to propose their loved one. The day was chosen as St Patrick received complaints from women that they have to wait for long for men to propose. Thus St Patrick decided on a special day (February 29) to help girls confess their feelings to their loved one.

3) Tree decorated with ribbons

In Germany, a tradition of girls decorating a tree with ribbons is followed. Usually when a boy likes a girl, he leaves a small birch tree covered with ribbons in front of the house of the girl he likes. Come leap year, it is the girl's chance to decorate a tree with ribbons (plant) and leave it on the doorstep of the boy she loves.

4) Pig trotter noodles

Love can be expressed in many ways. It just need not be for the boyfriend. In Taiwan a married daughter heads home to meet parents on the leap year day with the pig trotter noodles she has prepared. These noodles are said to symbolize that though the daughter is having her own family she thinks of parents too and wishes them good health and fortune.

5) Exclusive club members

The ones born on February 29 automatically become the members of exclusive club Honor Society of Leap Year Day Babies. The Society was started in the year 1997 by Peter Brouwer, and-the Leap Year Babies Limited club was started in 1988 by Raenell Dawn.

6) Unlucky

However, a leap day is considered as unlucky in Scotland for the ones born on that day. The day is also considered unlucky in Greece too to tie the knot. In Greece people do not prefer to get married on February 29.