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2008年6月12日——Leap year(b)

(2008-06-12 11:13:09)
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杂谈

分类: CatchingEnglish
Leap Year(b)

2008年6月12日——Leap <wbr>year(b)
2008年6月12日——Leap <wbr>year(b)
      Leap years are often called "Ladies' Years." This is because of an old legend that dates back to the 5th century. The story involves a nun1 named Brigid and the famous St. Patrick of Ireland, who was the bishop2 at the time. Brigid complained to Patrick that women were never allowed to propose to men if they wanted to get married. Out of sympathy3, Patrick told her that he would permit women to propose to men once every seven years. However, this wasn't often enough for Brigid. So, Patrick gave in and they finally agreed on allowing it during leap years.

  Unexpectedly4, Brigid then proposed to Patrick. Although he refused to marry her, Patrick gave her a silk dress and a kiss. This soon became an unwritten rule in Britain and Ireland. If a woman was rejected after she proposed, the man must make up for her disappointment with a gift.

  A person who is born on February 29 is called a "leapling." Although their official birthday only comes once every four years, they still get older as each year passes. There are even laws about how leaplings should count how old they are. In Taiwan, they turn one year older on February 28. However, other countries use March 1 to count the age of leaplings.

  February 29 is not a holiday, but it is still special because it only comes once every four years. This year, when February 29 arrives, try doing something out of the ordinary to celebrate it.

  闰年常被称为『女士之年』。这是因为一个可回溯至公元五世纪的古老传说之故。这个故事是关于一位名叫布里姬的修女,和当时身为主教、爱尔兰著名的圣帕特里克。布里姬为了女人想结婚时永远不能向男人求婚一事而向帕特里克抱怨。帕特里克同情地告诉布里姬,他准许女人每七年能向男人求婚一次。然而对布里姬来说,这样的时间并不够频繁。于是帕特里克做出让步,最后他们商定女子可以在闰年期间求婚。

  出乎意料的是,布里姬随即便向帕特里克求婚(编按:在当时,神职人员仍然是可以结婚的)。虽然帕特里克拒绝娶她,但却给了她一件丝质洋装和一个吻。这在英国及爱尔兰很快就成为一条不成文的规定。如果女子求婚被拒,被求婚的男子就必须要送礼来弥补她的失望。

  在二月二十九日出生的人称为leapling。虽然他们正式的生日四年才来一次,但他们每年仍老一岁。甚至还有法律规定leapling要如何计算他们的岁数。在台湾,他们在二月二十八日时会长一岁。不过在其它国家则用三月一日这天来计算leapling的岁数。

  二月二十九日不是假日,但因为它每四年才来一次,所以依然十分特别。今年二月二十九日到来时,试试做些不寻常的事来庆祝它吧。

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