Leap Day – February 29 2012

leapday‘Leap Day’ is February 29, which is an extra  day added during Leap Year, making the year 366 days long – and not 365 days, like a common (normal) year.

 

Every 4 years is a Leap Year in our modern calendar.

 

Leap Year the movieTraditions and folklore

Leap Day as a concept has existed for more than 2000 years, and is still associated with age-old traditions, folklore and superstition. http://urbanlegends.about.com/od/historical/a/leap_year.htm

It’s a popular day for women to propose marriage. http://urbanlegends.about.com/od/historical/a/leap_year.htm     The Movie Leap Year starring Amy Adams (2010) is about this tradition.  Her character, Anna Brady travels to Dublin, Ireland to propose to her boyfriend Jeremy on February 29, leap day, because, according to Irish tradition, a man who receives a marriage proposal on a leap day must accept it.  Maybe you can rent the movie  it is a fun romantic comedy!

Brief history of the Leap Day

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.  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.

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