Arts & Entertainment

Would You Say Yes to a Leap Day Proposal?


ST. BONAVENTURE, NY - Once every four years a woman gets to pop that special question to the man in her life -- or at least that’s what Leap Day custom says. The practice of women proposing to men varies throughout the world, as do people’s opinions of the tradition.

 “I think it’s a pretty cool custom, but I also think that shows a bigger problem that women don’t typically propose because it isn’t traditional,” said Elyse Breeze, a junior journalism and mass communication and strategic communication double major at St. Bonaventure University.

St. Bonaventure students had mixed reactions to the possibility of proposing or being proposed to by a woman. Breeze said that while she supported women who wanted to break the norm, she’s not sure she would do it herself.

Sign Up for E-News

William Wolf, a junior accounting major at Bonaventure, said he wouldn’t want a woman to propose to him.

“I prefer it more traditional,” Wolf said. “I couldn't imagine having a girl ask to marry me. Even if I was thinking about proposing to her myself, I would probably decline if she proposed to me because that's something I would want to do myself."

If Wolf were to decline such an invitation, he might be required to reconcile with the woman depending on where he lives. According to the BBC, if a man living in Denmark declines a Leap Day proposal, he must give the woman 12 pairs of gloves. But in Finland, the man who rejects a proposal should give the woman fabric for making a skirt.

The BBC notes, "Another popular story is that Queen Margaret of Scotland brought in a law setting fines for men who turned down marriage proposals put by women on a leap year. Sceptics have pointed out that Margaret was five years old at the time and living far away in Norway. The tradition is not thought to have become commonplace until the 19th Century."

Corey Krajewski, a graduate accounting student, said the idea of fining someone for saying no to a marriage proposal is silly.

“I think it’s kind of ridiculous because you have to give someone a gift just because you don’t want to marry them,” Krajewski said. I mean it might be a nice courtesy, but if I proposed to someone and they said no, I would just not want to see them for a while. That would be the gift I’d want.”

One student was particularly annoyed with the tradition. 

Emily Jo Manchester, senior women’s studies major, thought the custom was demeaning to women and heteronormative.

“Why can’t women propose any other day of the year? Why does it have to be a quirky, weird, rare pseudo-holiday for women to propose to dudes?” Manchester said. “Is that the only day lesbians can get engaged? Is it like all of the lesbians in the world have to wait for a leap day to ask their girlfriends to marry them?”

Although the custom may not be for everyone, some still say it’s a wonderful tradition.

"I think it is a good idea. I would probably say yes if a girl I was dating for a long time proposed to me instead of me to her,” said Daniel Pierce, a junior finance major. “For her to propose to me it would have to mean she really cares about me."

# # #

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Greater Olean

Becoming English in 90 Minutes

It was our first day in the country. The smell of fish'n chips filled the air, and the Wig and Pen was the place to be as England prepared to take on Sweden in the quarterfinals of the 2018 World Cup on Saturday.  Wearing blue and yellow was a death sentence. The streets were lined with fans dressed in red who stood in pub lines extending for blocks. We had one goal: Convince the locals ...

Understanding the Tough Times at The Buffalo News Can Lead to Brighter Future for the Newspaper 

Given the fiscal state of the news industry, the changes underway at The Buffalo News are not unique. To offset revenue losses, newspapers across the nation have bid farewell to longtime reporters, eliminated once-popular sections and removed jobs that involved covering important beats, such as education, the environment and transportation. 

What makes the ...

Grandpa Practiced Sustainability

My grandpa was of the Depression Era. Sustainability wasn’t “a thing” back then — it was just the way you lived. Though he was raised in a time when you were thankful to be able to put a good meal on the table, he likely had a standard of life that we would consider average or middle class today. He didn’t grow up in a slum or shanty town, but he did understand the ...

Upcoming Events

Mon, July 23, 12:00 PM

Allegany Public Library, Allegany

SBU's Quick Center ArtMobile


Mon, July 23, 2:00 PM

Olean Public Library, Olean

Ladies Social Hour

Arts & Entertainment

Mon, July 23, 6:00 PM

Olean Public Library, Olean

Exploring Tapestry with Ellen McCarthy


State Grant Wil Help Ellicottville Brewing Company Expand in Cattaraugus County

July 18, 2018

ALBANY, NY – Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo on Tuesday announced the grand opening of Ellicottville Brewing Company's fourth location in Cattaraugus County.

The company's new 75,000-square-foot facility in Little Valley allows for the expansion of commercial production and bottling operations and the addition of 40 new full-time jobs. Ellicottville Brewing Company, which distributes its ...

Quick Center’s ArtMobile Embarks on 10th Year of Summer Visits to Area Libraries 

ST. BONAVENTURE, NY — The Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts at St. Bonaventure University kicks off its 10-year anniversary this month participating in the National Summer Reading Program, making stops at public libraries across New York and Pennsylvania.

“This is one of the Quick Center’s most ambitious summers to date,” said Sean Conklin, assistant curator of the ...

Four area students receive Murphy scholarship

Four area high school graduates each recently received a $10,000 John J. Murphy Family Scholarship managed by the Cattaraugus Region Community Foundation.

Tyler Lashway of Port Allegany High School; Emily Rohrs and Anna Seamon, both of Allegany-Limestone Central School; and Olean High School’s Natalie Sova each received the John J. Murphy Family Scholarship.

The $10,000 scholarship is ...

'A Day in the Life': One Transportation Supervisor Serves Portville and Olean

PORTVILLE, NY – A whiteboard with dozens of destinations and vehicle numbers written in various colors sits inside the Portville bus garage, ready to be changed at any moment. David Youngs, the transportation supervisor of the Portville and Olean School Districts, knows that before 2 almost every afternoon, he is likely to receive an email changing the entire meticulously planned ...

'A Day in the Life' Follows Della Moore of the African American Center for Cultural Development

OLEAN, NY – When Della Moore walks down the street, she greets everyone she passes and makes sure to ask, “How are you doing?” 

From the moment I joined her at the 7-Eleven on a cloudy, cold December morning until we finished making our stops along State and North Union streets, she remained ...

'Day in the Life' Follows Warehouse Selector Justus Elliot

OLEAN, NY -- For Justus Elliot, time and pace are essential. As a warehouse selector for Olean Wholesale Grocery Co-Op, most of the 21-year-old’s job calls for efficiency.

“Everything is time-based," Elliot explained. "One hundred percent is the norm, and it’s what we work for every day. If our score is less, then we are moving too slow, and we kick it into ...

Happy Veterans Day, Mom

What began as an attempt to boost her GPA soon turned into a 22-year career for my mom, Ramona Lee Discavage.

On the first day of her freshman year at St. Bonaventure University in 1989, members of the Army ROTC Seneca Battalion helped incoming freshmen move their stuff into their dorm rooms.  Afterward, they invited all of the freshmen to a lunch.

“When they described the ...

Lynn Kemp: ‘Best Soldier I Could Be’

Lynn Kemp is nearing 95 and knows he has lived a good life.

“The good Lord has been awful good to me,” recalled the lifelong resident of Shinglehouse, Pennsylvania. “I never refused an order. I tried to be the best soldier I could be. I don’t know what your relationship is with God, but mine is pretty close.”

Born Oct. 29, 1920, Lynn grew up in a home on Turkey ...

WW II museum provides role models for young people

When Steve Appleby asks area students if they know Snoop Dog, Eminem, Kanye West, the Kardashians, Parris Hilton or Miley Cyrus, they answer yes. Then Appleby will ask which of them knows Jason Dunham is, and the students will not have a clue.

Appleby will explain that Jason Dunham was a Marine from Scio, in Allegany County, New York, who was killed in Iraq in 2006 after jumping on a grenade ...