By Mariam Digges

According to tradition, women can propose to their partners only once every four years. We look at the historic roots of the bizarre tradition on Leap Day.


Traditionally, the 29th February, a day that only comes around once every four years, is the only day when women can drop a knee and propose to their partners, known by some as Bachelor’s Day.

The bizarre custom began in Ireland in the 12th century, to balance the traditional roles of men and women. What’s even funnier is that if a woman’s proposal was rejected, the man then had to go out and buy her 12 pairs of gloves to save her from an embarrassingly bare ring finger. The Brits took this one step further, fining those who rejected proposals.

According to a recent survey in the UK, 36% of men are now open to being proposed to, however, as one traditionalist blogs, “ladies, be patient, when he’s ready, he’ll do it.”

Is it still a novelty when women take the plunge and ask the big question, or are we moving forward from the days of multiple glove-wearing? The fact that there’s only one day allocated every four years to when it’s socially acceptable, says it all really. 

Have any Leap Day proposal stories to share with us? We’d love to hear them over at our Facebook page!


1. Silence is golden

As the old adage goes, silence, or rather, silent films are capable of winning gold, with French black and white film The Artist claiming the most number of Oscar trophies yesterday. Director Michel Hazanvicius’s film, which pays homage to the silent screen of 1920s and 1930s through the story of silent actor George Valentin, also won best actor for Jean Dujardin, best score for Ludovic Bourse and best costume design for Mark Bridges.

2. A little bit of leg goes a long way

It was the single moment that saved the entire ceremony from ratings disaster, when Angelina Jolie struck that pose, thrusting out that right leg from under that thigh-high black Atelier Versace gown. Before long, #Angiesrightleg became a trending topic on Twitter, and soon had its own account with more than 17,000 followers. The rather hilarious act also helped attract 39 million TV viewers in the US, marking one of the best Oscars ratings results in recent times.

3. Meryl Streep is the undisputed Queen of the Oscars.

It’s no secret that we here at MiNDFOOD love Meryl Streep, love that was only strengthened at yesterday’s Academy Awards. The 62-year-old actress has been nominated for no less than 17 Oscars in her lifetime, and Monday night marked her third win for her portrayal of Margaret Thatcher in The Iron Lady. Her acceptance speech boasted grace, humility, and of course humour: “When they called my name I had this feeling I could hear half of America going, ‘Oh, no. Oh, come on. Why? Her. Again. No.’ But, whatever.”  We love you Meryl.

4. What’s in an age?

When Christopher Plummer’s name was called as the best supporting actor winner for his work in Beginners, he became the oldest person to ever win an Oscar. The 84-year-old actor’s film and television career stretches back to the 1950s, with his latest role as an elderly man who comes out of the closet in Beginners winning the hearts of millions around the world. Plummer beat Kenneth Branagh, Jonah Hill for Moneyball, Nick Nolte, and Max von Sydow, proving a thing or two about age standing as a barrier in the way of success.

5. More than just a trophy

For some, an Oscars victory isn’t just another notch on the old belt, it’s about something more significant. Pakistani filmmaker Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy, Oscar winner in the short subject documentary category for Saving Face, reiterated that for her team, the win could make massive strides in fighting for the rights of victims of acid attacks in Pakistan. “We’re so very proud,” said Valerie Khan, chairwoman of the Islamabad-based Acid Survivors Foundation, before paying tribute to “all the women in Pakistan working for change. Don’t give up on your dreams. This is for you.” According to Khan, more than 200 acid attacks occur in Pakistan each year, and Saving Face has helped to raise awareness of these startling figures and help the fight against perpetrators. 


Julian Assange has joined Tony Blair, Michael Jackson, and Banksy by guest appearing on iconic cartoon series The Simpsons.

The longest running television series in American television history celebrated its 500th episode this week with the help of the controversial WikiLeaks founder.

Assange, who we imagine has some spare time on his hands as he continues to live out his house arrest at a secret location just outside of London, while he waits on the verdict of British Supreme Court judges on sexual assault charges, reportedly recorded his voice for the episode from home.

In the episode, Homer and Marge find out that their fellow Springfieldians are fed up with all their antics over the years and are plotting to kick them out of town during a secret meeting. So naturally, the disenchanted yellow-faced family arrange a meeting with someone who knows a thing or two about exile – Assange – to help them clear their names.

Overall, the episode has received positive feedback in the US so far (as has Assange’s bourgeoning Twitter followers) albeit a few claims that it lacks the punch of previous seasons. Decide for yourselves below. 

Wikileaks Julian Assange on The Simpsons 500th Episode from LeakSource Archive on Vimeo.


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