This year we have an extra day added to our calendar. For some of you, this may mean a day that you have to work for free (if you are a salaried employee). So why do we have leap day you may be thinking? We use a Gregorian calendar with 365 days in a year. We have to add a leap day every four years or we would lose almost six hours off our calendar every year. Leap year helps our Gregorian calendar stay in alignment with the Earth’s revolutions around the sun.
Since leap year only comes once every four years we thought it would be fun to give you some facts about leap year.
- If you don’t know when a leap year is just look at the last two digits of the year, if it is divisible by 4 then you know it is a leap year. For example, it is 2016 and 16/4 is 4 so there you go. 2016 is a leap year
- If you have seen the movie Leap Year with Amy Adams and Matthew Gooding you may know that it is a tradition on leap day for women to propose to men. This tradition mostly exists in the UK and is still practiced today. It is also said that if a man refused a woman’s proposal he would be fined with a kiss, twelve pairs of gloves, or a silk dress
- There are an estimated 5 million babies born on leap day. They are often called leaplings or leapers and sadly can only celebrate their real birthday once every 4 years. They usually have to celebrate February 28 or March 1.
- February 29th is also Rare Disease Day
- The cities of Anthony, New Mexico and Anthony, Texas are the self-proclaimed leap year capitals of the world. They have a 4 day leap year festival that includes a birthday party for all the leaplings of the world.
- The Titanic sank during a leap year (1912), and Gold was discovered in California during a leap year (1848)
So now that you are an expert on all things leap year, we hope you all have a fun, maybe a little wacky extra day of the year. Happy leap day everyone!
Do you know any Leaplings? We would love to hear how they celebrate their leap day birthday!