The impulse has come over her, like a rush of adrenaline pulsating through her veins, she takes a deep breath, fighting back the knot in her stomach and the tears in her eyes, and she gets down on one knee and says: “Will you marry me?” This may not seem like a strange situation in today’s society, but long ago in Scotland, women were prohibited from proposing. They were considered as “loose” if they even considered it. “As the legend goes, the law of the land was completely shaken when St. Bridget complained to St. Patrick about this predicament.” She was simply tired of waiting around for a man to come and sweep her off her feet. Gradually, St. Patrick gave into reason, but he did not give in completely. He simply said that he would allow women to propose to men only on February 29th. It may not have been exactly what Saint Bridget wanted, but it was start.
According to authors Sheri and Bob Stritof, “The first documentation of this practice dates back to 1288, when Scotland passed a law that allowed women to propose marriage to the man of their choice, but if any man declined a proposal in a leap year he must pay a fine. The fine could range from a kiss to payment for a silk dress or a pair of gloves.” This was surely a way to make a man commit. This Scottish tradition was passed down to the United States, but we did not call it “Leap Year Day,” we chose another title, “Sadie Hawkins’s Day.”
The name Sadie Hawkins’s came from an interesting source, an Al Capp comic strip. According to Capp Enterprises, “Sadie Hawkins was a female character in his comic strip, who simply got tired of waiting for the fellows to come a courtin’.” Like Saint Bridget, she was fed up. Her father decided to create a special day for Sadie, and there was a footrace held in the town of Dogpatch, and the women were allowed to chase after the men in the village. A simple comic strip lead to the creation of a new national event.
On February 29th, in the United States, we celebrate Sadie Hawkins’s Day. On this day, many school districts have a dance for their students. This is the once in a lifetime opportunity for girls to ask a guy to the dance. However, Sadie Hawkins’s Day was not invented for just high school students; it was a day created for all women, no matter what age you are. If the man of your dreams does not know that you even exist, this could be the day where you casually walk up to him and say hello and introduce yourself. This could be your day to shine. Do not let an opportunity pass you by because this event only happens once every four years!