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Interesting facts about Leap Year

Let’s learn some interesting facts about Leap Year!

For this post, I would like to share some historic and interesting facts about Leap Year.

What does Leap Year mean?

It means that we have 1 extra day in the year, totaling 366 days in the year, only in the Leap Year.  The extra day is added to the month of February, giving February a 29th day, called the leap day.

How it all started…. some historic background….

It all started with the Egyptians, who first formulated a lunar calendar consisting of 12 months of varying duration. These months were based on a full lunar cycle, which is normally 28 or 29 days. Months began with a new moon, which they determined from the first morning after the waning crescent could no longer be seen. 

In an effort to develop a more precise calendar, the Egyptians developed the solar-based calendar. It consisted of 12 months with 30 days each for a total of 360 days, which meant it was 5 days short of the solar calendar.

To synchronize the calendar with the solar year, Egypt’s Ptolemaic rulers ordered that every fourth year would be 366 days long instead of 365, formulating the Alexandrian calendar, which added an extra day in the calendar each leap year. This allowed for the Egyptian calendar to also be synchronized with the Julian calendar.

Fun Facts About Leap Year

So…, why the extra day?

It is because it actually takes the Earth a little longer than a year to travel around the Sun — 365 days, 5 hours, 48 minutes, and 46 seconds, to be exact.

Therefore, as hours accumulated over the centuries, an extra day was occasionally added to the calendar, and over time the practice became more or less official.

The Romans first designated February 29 as leap day, but a more precise formula (still in use today) was adopted in the 16th century when the Gregorian calendar fine-tuned the calculations to include a leap day in years only divisible by four – 2012, 2016, 2020, 2024, etc.

Born on a Leap Day?

Did you know that anyone born on a leap day is known as a ‘leapling’?

If you are a ‘leapling, you have to wait every four years to “officially” observe your birthday. Leap year babies typically choose either February 28 or March 1 to celebrate in years that are not leap years.

Happy Leap Day!!!!!!!!

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