Leap Year

This is a leap year.

In other words, in just a couple of days (Thursday), there’ll be an extra day in February that only occurs about every four years. More on the ‘about’ part below.

Why is There Leap Year?

Did you know it takes more than 365 days for Earth to rotate the sun? It actually takes 365 days, 5 hours, 48 minutes, and 56 seconds, so rounding is involved. In 45 BC, Julius Caesar created the Julian calendar which took into consideration this rounding but it over-corrected in a way that created too many additional days which would have thrown off all the months and seasons. I’m super-simplifying here, but trust me, okay?  

It was decided that an extra day in February would be added in those years divisible by four but only in century years that are evenly divided by 400. For example, 800, 1200, and 2000 were leap years, but 1700 and 1900 weren’t. See? I never knew it was this complicated.

A Few Fun Leap Year Facts

Here are a few fun facts about Leap Year that were new to me:

  • There’s a Leap Year cocktail made with gin, which is paired with sweet vermouth and Grand Marnier.
  • The concept of women proposing to men began to appear as a tradition on Leap Year days.
  • Every few years a second is added to this day to most accurately account for the Earth’s rotation
  • There are four countries that do not use the Gregorian calendar as their sole civil calendar and thus do not have Leap Years. They are Ethiopia, Nepal, Iran, and Afghanistan.

Leap Year to Me and You

I’m curious about people who were born on this day in a leap year. There are always jokes about people being only a quarter of their real age. I kind of like that concept. Let’s see, if I was born on February 29th, I’d be only eighteen. Wow, not sure how I feel about that since I was pretty dense and rebellious at that age. How old would you be? How would you feel about being that age?

Leap year is a fun event to think and talk about. Unless you’re born on that day, it’s a fleeting occurrence that won’t come back up for another four years. And, if you were born on that day, well, happy birthday, you youngster you!