Blog: Leonie BarrieGlove stories

Leonie Barrie | 26 February 2004

Just in time for Sunday 29th February – 2004 is a leap year in case you hadn’t twigged – the European Glove Association (EGA) has drawn up a list of superstitions connected with gloves. The idea was prompted by the fact that according to Scottish tradition, February 29th is the only day of the year when a woman can propose to the man in her life. Tradition also dictates that if the man declines, he must repay his suitor with a kiss and a pair of leather gloves or a silk dress.

Did you know, though, that in Denmark the forfeit is even more costly, with the man having to present the woman with 12 pairs of gloves – one for each month of the year!

What’s surprising is just how often gloves are woven into folklore. For example, to dream of finding a pair of gloves means that you are about to embark on a love affair or marriage. To dream of gloves per se means that you will have a lawsuit or business troubles, but you will settle them in a positive manner.

In the French-speaking parts of Canada, it is customary to exchange gifts on New Years Day and one tradition is the giving of gloves or ‘glove money’ to purchase a pair. And in days gone by, the gauntlet glove played a significant role in the initiation of a duel. If a man wanted to challenge an opponent, he would slap him across the face with his gauntlet from right to left. His rival would have no choice but to go into battle as pride was such an important concept. Or they would ‘Throw Down the Gauntlet’ in front of their opponent - if their foe picked up the glove they were accepting the challenge of a duel.

Even today many US Major League Baseball stars are known to follow rituals involving their sporting gloves. One that stands out is Len Dykstra who played for the Mets and Phillies, he would throw away his batting gloves if he failed to hit in a single At-Bat, meaning he sometimes went through hundreds of pairs a year!

The European Glove Association


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