We have a Leap Year every 4 years. 2016 is one of those years; we gain an extra day on February 29th. I was wondering about the origins of Leap Year, so I “googled’ it. Here are some of the things I learned 🙂
• Normally there are 365 days to a year, but on Leap Year, we have 366. Our calendar year is based on how long it takes the Earth to orbit the sun. It technically takes 365 days and 6 hours to make the complete orbit. To accommodate the extra 24 hours every four years an additional day is added.
• The reason why the extra day is added in February is because of ancient Roman rulers trying to one up each other. The story goes that under the rule of Julius Caesar, all of the month except August had 30 or 31 days. August had only 29. When Caesar Augustus became ruler, he changed the calendar so that his month, August, would have the same amount of days as did his predecessor’s month of July. So February lost the battle of the egos by getting less days. This is where I learned this information.
• I sometimes times think it would have been nice to be born on Leap Day. If I only had a birthday every 4 years, I would still be young. Then I did the math and figured out I would be just starting the teen years …and decided I wouldn’t want to relive that awkward time of life 🙂 Anyway, I discovered that people who were actually born on the day, choose either February 28th or March 1st to do their celebrating.
• I read about an old tradition called Bachelor’s Day in some European countries. Its premise was that on Leap Day, it was permissible for a woman to propose to a man (I think I mentioned it was an old fashioned tradition). If the man turned her down, he must buy her gifts or give her money.