So I have read a decent amount of posts about people that don’t know why we have a leap year and leap day ever 4 years.  Well, it comes down to a few factors, mainly the Earth revolving around the sun and math.  While Calendars have 365 days in a year, it technically takes 365 and a 1/4 days to travel around the sun, think of the extra 6 hours as a remainder.  So when the calendar was being finalized, it was decided that it would be way too much of a pain in the arse to have a 1/4 day, so they added an extra day every four, because after four years the extra 6 hours would add up to 24, or 1 day.  Although there have been some leap years that didn’t get the extra day, it has to do with the way the Gregorian calendar works and the way things are divided, I’ve always been a bit foggy on that, you could look it up if you want.

Now why was February 29th picked why not December 32, December is the end of the year? that’s a good question, I didn’t really find much that was concrete, I found two explanations that make sense and are probably correct, if anyone finds another let me know.  As to why it isn’t Decmember 32nd, the reason I found is that December wasn’t the end of the year in the Roman calendar, February was.  So why make February longer? Well this goes back to Romans also.  From What I found, Augustus Caesar wanted his month to be longer (it originally had 30 days as did February). So he arbitrarily shifted a day from February to August.  That’s it, those are the 2 reasons I dug up.  Like I mentioned above, I don’t know how true they are, they sound about right, so if you find anything different please let me know.

Leap year also causes some confusion for birthdays.  In some countries, such as the US and New Zealand your birthday would fall on the 28th.  In others, such as the UK and Wales, your birthday would be the 1st of March.  Which means, you could turn 18 in the US on the 29th, take and early flight to London, and still be 17 and underage for drinking! Bummer right? lol

Now mankind as we know it, like to have a reason to do different things, so because of leap year a few traditions sprang up to go with it.  One, the most popular, is that a woman a man to marry her on leap day, if he refuses he needs to give her money or buy her a dress.  In some areas of Europe, mainly with the upper class, if he refuses, he needs to provide her with 12 pairs of gloves so she can hide her ringless finger.  Also, another one, this time in Greece, is that it is unlucky to get married on that day, even with Windex present, in fact its considered unlucky to get married in a leap year in general let alone leap day.  Must be a horrible year for halls, priests and ministers!

Well that’s about it, that’s the basics about leap day and leap year, hope you learned something, now all the single ladies, go make your move!

well, as usual thanks for reading!

John

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