Leap Year Cupid's Brooch
This charming little brooch is a nod to the Irish tradition of women making a proposal of marriage on the 29th of February. Leap Day. The legend originates in the 5th century when St. Brigid of Ireland, after hearing women's complaints that men were taking too long to make proposals of marriage, decided to take the issue up with St. Patrick. In return St. Patrick declared February 29th to be the day when women should propose to their promised lovers.
Several centuries later this practice was also adopted by the Scots. They felt that Leap Day was meant to correct the progression of the calendar year, and should also be used to correct the progression of relationships. So in 1288 they passed a law making it legal for women to propose on Leap Day. The law also gave a fine to any man that rejected a Leap Day proposal. Whether the fine be a kiss, money or yardage of silk it was incentive to move forward in their relationships.
As this tradition has carried on throughout the years, the phrase "Speak dear. This is Leap Year" was coined as a reminder for women to be brave about speaking out. This 1936 brooch is a reminder of that. So if you need a little something to remember to be brave next time Leap Day shows its face, this is a perfect item for you!
Brooch measures 2.5 x 1.5 cm