It’s that time again. Good o’l Leap Day, where we get an extra day in the month of February. Is it weird to say February 29th? How about the fact that it comes around every four years? Why is that? Well, I was curious so I did an investigation and here is what I found out.
Why is there a leap year?
Leap year is the reason that seasons occur at the same time each year. Although, a calendar year occurs every 365 days, the Earth actually takes 365.24 days to make a complete cycle around the sun and every four years it adds up to a full day. Therefore, a leap day is added to the calendar on the fourth year to keep it in sync with the Earth’s orbit. Interesting eh?
Some other interesting facts about Leap Day (7 interesting facts)
Julius Caesar first introduced the idea of the Leap Year, however his formula was a little off. His rule was that any year evenly divisible by four would be a leap year. This created too many leap years. A correction came with the Gregorian calendar making centuries divisible by 400 to count as leap years.
A whole leap month is added to the Chinese calendar every three years. Their last leap year was in 2015.
Approximately 5 million people have birthdays on Feb. 29, they call them Leaplings and are eligible to join the National Society of Leap Year Day Babies.
The chances of having a birthday on a leap day are about one in 1,461.
In Ireland, every February 29 is known as Bachelor’s Day. On this day women can propose to men. The tradition began in 1288 when a law was passed permitting women to propose and if refused the man would have to pay a fine. There’s good rom-com about this special holiday and guess what it’s called Leap Year. Check it out, it’s definitely worth a watch.
On the flipside, one in five engaged couples in Greece will plan to avoid getting married in a leap year. They believe it is bad luck.
On February 29, 1940, Hattie McDaniel became the first black woman to win an Oscar. She was awarded for her role in Gone With the Wind.
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