5 Things You Didn’t Know You Needed To Know About a Leap Year… and other Leap Year Facts
Posted: February 29, 2020 at 9:00 am
A leap year, also known as an intercalary year, is a calendar year containing an additional day on February the 29th.
Why Do We Have a Leap Year?
A solar year is slightly shorter than a Calendar year so every 4 years we need to add a day to make up the time. It takes the earth a little bit less than 365 ¼ days (365.242 days) to orbit the Sun (solar year). For this reason, the full day is only added once every four years.
Is Every Fourth Year a Leap Year?
Yes, except for the ones that are not. Confusing? Read on…
The leap year is based on the Gregorian Calendar, which dictates that years marking the end of a century (ie: multiples of 100) are only leap years if also divisible by 400. As a result, 1600, 2000, & 2400 are leap years, but 1800, 1900, & 2100 are not.
5 Things You Didn’t Know You Needed To Know About A Leap Year
- Most USA Presidential Elections fall on a leap year (except for the years that are not a leap year… see above for more info on that!)
- Currently the solar year is approximately 26 seconds shorter than the Gregorian year.
- It is traditional for women to propose to their partners on the 29th February. This tradition was brought in by Queen Margaret Of Scotland in 1288 apparently!
- In Greece a leap year is considered bad luck for engaged couples, one in five will avoid getting married on a leap year.
- People born on February 29th are called Leaplings or Leapers.
Notable moments in Leap Day History
George Armstrong Custer fought the Battle of the Little Bighorn (1876), the Titanic sank (1912), Benjamin Franklin proved that lightning is electricity (1752) and gold was discovered in California (1848).
So leaplings, have a smashing birthday – it’s another four years before your next one!