2016 has a gift for us. February 29 – one extra day. It’s Leap Year!!
Here are some fun things I learned about leap year:
- If you are born on February 29 you are called “leaplings” or “leapers”.
- The reason for a leap year is that the earth takes a little longer than one year to travel around the sun. Impress your friends knowing that it actually take 365 days, 5 hours, 48 minutes, and 46 seconds! So over the centuries we added an extra day occasionally to account for this.
- The Romans were the first to designate February 29 as leap day but it wasn’t until the 16th century we began to include a leap day in years only divisible by four – 2012, 2016, 2020, 2024, etc.
- Another trivial rule is no year divisible by 100 is a leap year, except if it was divisible by 400. Thus, 1800 and1900 were not leap years, but 2000 was.
- Feb 29th isn’t the only extra time added to the calendar. In 2008 an extra second was added to the end of the year.
- And what about women proposing to men during a Leap Year? The legend is St Brigid in Ireland complained to St Patrick that it just took too long for men to propose, so St Patrick decreed that during a leap year women could take the initiative.
- In Denmark, where leap day is marked on February 24, folklore tells that a man who turns down an offer of marriage customarily pays the refused woman with 12 pairs of gloves, while in Finland, it’s fabric for a skirt.
- And women beware that you need to give fair warning to potential suitors by wearing red petticoats on the day of the proposal.
- But in Greece, people believe it is bad luck to get married in a leap year.
- You can also impress your friends by telling them that leap year is also known as an intercalary or bissextile year. Big words always help – that is if you pronounce them correctly.
- Odd weather patterns often occur in leap years – that has been true in Ohio this year. In Russia, farming folklore says beans and peas planted in a leap year “grow the wrong way.” Scottish farmers believe leap years are not good for crops or livestock, thanks to the old proverb: “Leap year was ne’er a good sheep year.”
- So what are you going to do with this one extra day of life this year? Let’s do something positive. Let’s take a LEAP of faith this year.
Write a letter. Renew a friendship. Learn something new. Read something inspirational. Serve someplace. Spend extra time in prayer, bible reading or your journal. Take a walk and breath in God’s air thanking him for life and an extra day to glorify him.
What will you do to celebrate Leap Year?
Hi Martha! Leave it to those crazy Irish, huh? Lol!
I hope to take that day and make it all about quiet, reflection and doing something fun. What a gift to have an extra day!
Jean Wise says
Yep those Irish made me smile too. I think it is just neat to be able to embrace and enjoy an extra day of life. appreciate it. seek God that day. Blessings to you too Ceil
Martha Orlando says
Interesting facts about Leap Year that I never knew! And what am I going to do on that day? Wonder why I have to wait a whole day before I can celebrate my March 1 birthday. Lol! Seriously, I’ll take that leap of faith with you, Jean, and plan something special. Blessings!
Jean Wise says
Yes, let’s leap together….