Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Leap Day!

Happy leap day! Happy birthday to those special people born on a leap day! Many of us seem confused as to the reason for an extra day on the calendar every four years.

I did a little checking and found this:

Leap Years are needed to keep our calendar in alignment with the Earth's revolutions around the sun. It takes the Earth approximately 365.242199 days (a tropical year) to circle once around the sun. If we didn't add a day on February 29 nearly every 4 years, we would lose almost six hours every year. After only 100 years, our calendar would be off by approximately 24 days!

The ancient Roman calendar added an extra month every few years to maintain the correct seasonal changes. But Julius Caesar implemented a new calendar – the Julian Calendar – in 45 BCE (Before Common Era) with an extra day added every 4 years. At the time, Leap Day was February 24, because February was the last month of the year. (

Both my brother Pat and son Mark were born in February of leap years, 1952 and 1988. If the current year can be  divided equally by 4, you'll know it's a leap year.

If you want to celebrate leap day, check out the adorable movie, Leap Year with Amy Adams. Great scenery in Ireland.

1 comment:

Karen Dawkins said...

I spent my leap day reading Sarah's Key thanks to your recommendation. My thoughts -- we get an extra day, why not treasure it by doing something special. I think it's going to be a leap day tradition! (Assuming I can remember this four years from now....)