A lesser known tradition is Bachelor's day which is February 29th - so it falls only in a leap year.  The day is also known as Ladies Privilege - the day women are allowed propose to their favourite bachelor. The origin of the tradition is an agreement struck between St Bridgid and St Patrick in the 5th century.


Supposedly Bridget complained to Patrick that men were too slow to propose and asked that women be given the opportunity. Patrick initially offered to allow this once every 7 years, but eventually they settled on once every 4 years. 

Bachelor's Day was well established by the 1800s, and was observed in Scotland England and Finland. In 1822 Scottish law allowed women to propose throughout leap year, though they must wear a red petticoat for the proposal. Note that refusals bore a penalty of a traditional silk dress, gloves or a kiss. In England ladies got their man by proposing on February 29th. They skirted the ban on women proposing, by proposing to their beau on the 29th of February - a day that was not recognised in English law at the time, so the ban didn't apply on that day.

Ladies Privilege no longer carries legal status, but the tradition continues. Whether you're looking to propose marriage or simply celebrate your favourite bachelor, we have a great variety of suitable men's jewellery for you. 


Book your appointment to see our collection of contemporary men's jewellery and gifts.


February 20, 2024 — Ronan Campbell