It's Leap Year again! You know that it comes around every 4 years but do you know why? What are some of the traditions associated with the holiday? What do people do who are born on February 29th do -- that's got to be a little strange, right? What would happen if we decided to do away with Leap Year all together? Well, in honor of the day we thought we could help by answering a few of those questions and also provide you with a few fun facts you can share with your friends come February 29th.
First, we'll start with the Days of the Month Poem in Honor of Leap Year. I found 88 versions of the traditional Mother Goose Poem On the website LeapYearDay.com but this is Version 68:
30 days hath September,
April, June, and November.
All the rest have 31--
Just a minute, we’re not done!
February’s the shortest one.
With 28 most of the time,
but in Leap Year twenty-nine.
Leap Day Facts
~ Supposedly around the 5th century the tradition of women proposing men on Leap Day began. Folklore states St. Patrick officially set aside February 29th as the one day that women could break from tradition and propose marriage to their fella. Leap Day is not to be confused with Sadie Hawkins Day, which is November 15th.
~ Born on Leap Day? Lucky you! It is said that people born on February 29th posses special talents. What's yours?
~ There are a few issues with being born on Leap day, some Leap Year babies report that their parents wanted the birth date to be changed to either February 28th or March 1st. There have been some computer issues noted as well. When those born on Leap Day try to enter their birth date some programs won't recognize February 29th as a valid birthday! In addition, some folks have been teased and experienced licensing issues
~ The ancient Egyptians discover that the man-made calendar didn't match up with the solar year. The reason for this is because it takes the Earth a little longer that a year to make its way around the sun -- as noted on the Cliff.com website it exactly takes 365 days, 5 hours, 48 minutes and 46 seconds.
~ Also noted on that same website - is that leap year was to occur very four year but the Gregorian calendar implanted a more precise formula stating that only years divisible by four would be included. This meant that were divisible by 100 would not be included but those divisible by 400 would be. Confusing? Maybe, but it keeps us on track. At least for the next thousand years or so.