Something is going to happen at the end of February that won’t happen again for another four years. Yes, it is a leap year, where an extra day is tacked on to the 365 days were already have to muddle through. Thankfully, all our computers and cell phone calendars will handle the extra day just fine. The real issue is why do we “leap” every four years? Can’t we just keep it 28 or 29?
The answer to that query can be found in this fascinating leap year facts:
Why Do We Leap?
As any decent astronomer will tell you, it takes 365 days, 5 hours, 48 minutes and 46 seconds for the earth to completely orbit the sun. Every four years becomes an extra day. It’s those extra hours that got blown up into an extra day. It wasn’t always that way. Back in Julius Caesar’s day, they had a 355-day calendar that brought in an extra twenty-two days every two years. Think about that for a minute: Every two years you got 22 extra days to go to the chariot races or do a little emporium shopping. Apparently, Caesar didn’t like that system so he had his number wonks change it to 365 days with only one bonus day every four years. Talk about a buzz kill.
Tradition has it that on Leap Year, women get to propose to their beaus. Supposedly, this all started when Queen Margaret of Scotland decreed that a woman could drop the pretense of propriety and propose to any man. If the man turned down the proposal, then he would have to pay a fine of a kiss, a silk dress, a pair of gloves or one dollar. Sounds rather childish. Well, the Queen was only five-years-old when she made that decree, so it fits.
Work For Free
If you get paid an annual or monthly salary, then you’re working for free on February 29th. That’s because those wages don’t take into account the extra day. Good luck with asking your boss for the day off or extra pay. Leaplings
Join The Club
If you were born on February 29, then you get to be called a leapling or a leaper. You’re also in a very rare club. There is only a one in 1,461 chance of being born on a Leap Year. There are only five million leaplings on the planet. Considering that the total global population is way over several billion, your leaplings are just a fraction of the crowds.
Of course, you also get to pick your unofficial/official birthday for celebration purposes. Do you want it on March 1st or February 28th? You also get to technically say you’re just five years old when you’re actually twenty-five and so on. Fun for job applications; not so much fun if you want to order a cocktail.
Finally, the Chinese New Year makes 2020 the year of the rat. However, the official animal mascot of Leap Year is the frog. Get it? Leap Year… leapfrog?