Tag Archives: Leap Year

Leap Day Luck and Lore

A person born on Leap Day is called a leaping or leaper. While some may find it unfair they only have a true birthday every four years, others relish in the fact that they can celebrate a full day early if they wish. In Scotland it is considered unlucky to be born on Leap Day, and in other cultures the entire year is believed to bring bad luck. For example, in Greece it is unlucky to marry during a leap year.

While marrying on a leap year may be avoided, getting engaged is perfectly acceptable. In fact, on Leap Day women are allowed to propose to their man if they choose. Centuries ago a man even had to pay a fine or give a gift if he declined the proposal!

Sources: about.com


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There WAS a February 30th!

The most days February ever has is 29, right? While that may be true now, February 30th did exist in the Soviet Union and Sweden for a short period of time.

The Soviet Union introduced a new revolutionary calendar in 1929 with the intention of improving industrial efficiency. This new calendar featured only 5-day weeks making every month 30 days long with five or six monthless holidays scattered throughout the year. It was hoped that doing away with weekends and instead working a full month through would increase productivity. This calendar failed to catch on as it was difficult to end the day of rest tradition, and the Gregorian calendar was restored in 1940.

Sweden introduced February 30th out of necessity when trying to convert from the Julian calendar to the Gregorian calendar. The decision was made to follow the Gregorian calendar starting in 1700 by skipping leap years until the calendars were synchronized. This was forgotten in 1704 and 1708 however, leaving Sweden off track for both the Julian and Gregorian calendars. Sweden decided to restore the Julian calendar in 1712 by adding two leap days, creating February 30, 1712.

Sources: timeanddate.com

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How Do You Know If It’s a Leap Year?

A leap year occurs every four years, right? Well, unfortunately it is a little more complicated than that. Because the Earth’s revolution around the sun is just slightly less than 365.25 days, every once in a while a leap year must be skipped to keep our seasons on track.

Most of us were taught if a year is divisible by 4, it is a leap year. However, there is an exception to every rule. In the case of leap years, the exception happens in century years, or years ending with two zeros. A century year is not a leap year unless it is also divisible by 400. This means that 2000 was a leap year, but 1900 was not, and 2100 will be skipped as well.

Sources: Wikipedia.org

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Why Is There a Leap Year?

A common year is 365 days long, but a leap year adds an extra day to the end of February every four years making it 366 days long. Why do we do this?

Our year is based on how long it takes Earth to orbit the sun. The earth makes one complete revolution around the sun in 365.242 days, so we include February 29 to make up for the lost six hours every year. If we didn’t, our calendar would be off by almost a month after just 100 years!

Sources: timeanddate.com, projectbritian.com


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