Happy Leap Year from Carpenter Country!
Yes, 2008 is a leap year. And Friday, 02/29, is leap day. The occasion was almost missed in the flurry of other February holidays. Something else nearly overlooked was that leap years play host to an array of old wives tales.
According to the Encyclopedia of Superstition, Folklore and Occult Sciences, years with 366 days are unlucky for “building, planning or planting.” And forget about having a baby unless you want to live with “a hard to raise child…constantly subject to illness.”
There are also notions about love and marriage. For instance, if you walk around an old abandoned house four times scattering hemp seeds at midnight on the last day of February you’ll see your future husband or wife. But here’s the bad part: If you encounter a coffin you’ll stay single forever.
On that same day, you can ask the man of your dreams to marry you. Should he be foolish enough to decline, he owes you a kiss, a silk gown or a pair of gloves. Of course, while issuing proposals it’s best to recall this bit of Greek folklore–couples who marry during a leap year will have bad luck.
Wow, with all those double whammys flying around it may be prudent to change our “happy leap year” greeting to “knock on wood.” It would also be a good idea to include a big thank you to the Julian and Gregorian calendar makers for fixing things so leap years only occur occasionally.
Otherwise we might be plagued with a hundred more bad omens.