by Desiree Coffey

2016 is Leap Year.  The last Leap Day was on February 29, 2012.  A common year is a standard calendar year with 365 days, 12 months and no extra day in February.  On a Leaf Year the calendar year is 366 days long.

Leap Year was 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 around the Sun.  If a day is not added on February 29 nearly every 4 years, we would lose almost 6 hours every year.  Six hours less of school might sound wonderful but after 100 years, our calendar would be off by approximately 24 days.

Leaps Day has been a day of traditions, folklore and superstitions ever since Leap Years were first introduced by Julius Ceasar over 2000 years ago.

  • Women propose to men: According to Irish legend – This is believed to balance the roles of women and men as Leap Days balance the calendar.
  • 12 pair of gloves: If a man refuses a proposal on a leaf day, he has to buy her 12 pair of gloves (one pair for each of the 12 months).  This is to hide the embarrassment of not having an engagement ring.
  • In Scotland, it used to be considered unlucky for someone to be born on a Leap Day. While Greeks considered it unlucky for couples to marry during a Leap Year, and especially on Leap Day.

Happy Birthday to all those born on a Leap Day – Do you know any of these Leap Day babies:

  • Pope Paul III was born on Leap Day in 1468.
  • Gioacchino Rossini (Italian Composer) was born on Leap Day in 1896.
  • Al Rosen (American Baseball Player) was born on Leap Day in 1924.
  • Lyndon Byers (Canadian Hockey Player) was born on Leap Day in 1964.
  • Antonio Sabato Jr. (Actor) was born on Leap Day in 1972.
  • Ja Rule (real name Jeffrey Atkins – Rapper and Actor) was born on Leap Day in 1976.
  • Chris Conley (Musician and Songwriter/Composer) was born on Leap Day in 1980.

Are you a Leap Day Baby?  Let us know!

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