Tomorrow is February 29 which makes this year a leap year! But what is a leap year exactly and why do we have one every four years?
Leap year is special because it has 366 days in our modern Gregorian calendar, as opposed to a common year, which has 365 days, according to timeanddate.com.
The reason leap years are a part of our calendars is to keep it in alignment with the Earth as it revolves around the sun.
For the Earth to make a full revolution around the sun it takes about 365.242199 days or 365 days, five hours, 48 minutes, and 46 seconds.
Since the Gregorian calendar only consist of 365 days in a year, we would be losing about six hours off our calendar each year.
So what would happen if we didn’t add a day an extra day to the month of February approximately every four years?
It does not seem like much, but in 100 years, the Gregorian calendar would be off by more than three weeks, or about 24 days.
There are three criteria that a calendar must meet in order to be a leap year. First, the number must be evenly divisible by four. If the year can be evenly divided by 100, like 2000, it will not be a leap year unless it also happens to be divisible by 400.
Julius Caesar was the first to introduce Leap Years in the Roman empire over 2000 years ago, but his only rule was that a year only needed to be evenly divisible by four.
Some celebrities who were born in leap year were rapper Ja Rule who was born in 1976 and model and actor, Antonio Sabato Jr. who was born in 1972.
It also became a tradition in Ireland, around the fifth century, where woman would be able to propose to men. After St. Bridget complained to St. Patrick that it was not fair that women always had to wait for men to do the proposal, St. Patrick begrudgingly set aside February 29 as the acceptable day for women to do the asking, as stated by chiff.com.
Are you doing anything special for leap year?