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Thursday

Sadie Hawkins Day - Leap Year

(Written upon request of Mad Kane's "time" prompt.)

Sadie Hawkins Day –
A Limerick on Leap Year

The passage of time, each four years,
Reduces most menfolk to tears.
They wait for the chance
To be asked to the dance,
By women who swallow their fears.


A bit of history:

Who was Sadie Hawkins, and how did she come to be associated with Leap Year?

Sadie Hawkins Day originated in November 1937 in the “Li’l Abner” comic strip by cartoonist and humorist Al Capp. Part of the much-loved Dogpatch U.S.A. citizenry, Capp’s Sadie Hawkins was called “the homeliest girl in the hills.” Her father, Hekzebiah Hawkins, grew concerned that his ugly daughter might remain an old maid, so he made a plan.

Hekzebiah Hawkins created an annual foot race. All of the town’s single girls would chase the local bachelors. Each young lady would marry the man she caught. (Of course, fathers with shotguns were present as added motivation for matrimony.)

Within a few years, hundreds of American colleges and universities had picked up on the craze and held Sadie Hawkins Day dances, or turnabouts. For one day, it became socially acceptable for a woman to ask a man to join her on a date.

Although it was originally celebrated in November, eventually, Sadie Hawkins Day became linked with Leap Year, on February 29th. Every four years, according to the tradition, women are encouraged to invite men to mingle or even marry.

Although historians differ somewhat on the origins of the Leap Year link, the general consensus points to Sts. Bridget and Patrick, both of Ireland. Apparently, St. Bridget complained to St. Patrick about the social restrictions on women, forcing them to wait for a man’s proposal of marriage. St. Patrick instituted a plan, whereby women might propose marriage to men during a Leap Year. Irish legend indicates that, during the next Leap Year, St. Bridget actually proposed to St. Patrick!

Fusing these two turnabout traditions, popular practices eventually found their home on February 29th, every four years.


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2 comments:

  1. So glad you joined in on my latest prompt. I enjoyed your limerick and haiku and found the leap year history fascinating!

    ReplyDelete
  2. :) so good to "meet" you the other day over at my place.

    ReplyDelete

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