It’s nearly time for that curious, quadrennial day, February 29th. Until Julius Caesar commissioned his astronomer to tidy up the calendar, people actually experienced an extra 22-day month every two years. Having to correct our watches every four years is pretty minor compared with the confusion this must have caused! The astronomer opted for a 365-day year, with an extra day every four years to correct a few stray hours.
This extra day of course is February the 29th, and it’s about to come round again. Here are a few things you can do to mark the occasion…
Propose to your boyfriend
The tradition of the woman proposing on 29 February has various different explanations. A popular story is that St Bridget complained to St Patrick that women were having to wait too long for the menfolk to propose. He responded by allowing women to propose on a single day, once every four years. St Bridget’s response to this less-than-generous offer is not recorded. These saints lived in the 5th century; however like many traditions we observe these days, it was the Victorians that really embraced it.
If you’re thinking of proposing to your chap this Leap Day, just let us know. A table in The Arboretum maybe? We’ll make sure you have a nice, intimate table, and we’ll have the champagne at the ready… To make it a really memorable occasion, just assume that he’ll say yes and book a romantic Celebration Break, or perhaps a relaxing Couples Spa Break.
Leap Year babies can finally party
Being born on this day leads to some birthday confusions. Lord Byron had to wait for a leap year before he could really celebrate properly (although, to be fair, it’s not like he didn’t let his hair down on other occasions), and there’s even a saints’ day, St Oswald’s Day, which can be marked only once every four years.
Like most people, Lord Byron probably marked the occasion on the 28th. However, when the 29th finally comes around, leap babies should really celebrate in style. Why not join us on the 29th for a delicious dinner, champagne in the bar, and maybe a night at the hotel? After all, you’re owed a good night out!
Celebrate the Leap Year, pirate-style
The 29 February is an important part of the plot of a locally-based operetta, Gilbert and Sullivan’s Pirates of Penzance. Hero Frederic discovers that as he is a “leapling”, he must serve his apprenticeship for another 63 years, as his contract stipulated it ended on his “21st birthday”. Still, everything worked out well in the end, and he is free to join his sweetheart Mabel before he reaches his eighties!
Mark Leap Day by visiting one of the most popular venues for this operetta, the open air Minack Theatre in Porthcurno. There are no performances at this time of year; however you can explore the beautiful cliff-top theatre, visit the permanent exhibition, and have a scone with a view in the café. Travel back to The Cornwall via Penzance itself, watching out for singing pirates…
Make the most of an extra night offer
We know it’s not really an extra day – normal life, including work, carries on, and sadly Leap Day is not a bank holiday. However, at The Cornwall, we have a fantastic “extra day” offer on until 24 March. Stay for three nights and pay for just two in the hotel, or enjoy four nights in a Woodland Home and pay for three. Now that’s definitely making the most of your bonus day!