When I saw the Leap Day 2016 was available to blog on I, well, leaped at the chance. I’m not sure why, but it sounded like fun.
Today, blogs all over the ‘net will be spouting facts and superstitions about Leap Day and Leap Year, I’m sure. And rather than buck the system, I think I’ll join it.
Leap Day was added every fourth year to keep our calendar aligned with Earth’s revolutions around the sun. From what I read, it takes the Earth about 365 days, 5 hours, 48 minutes, and 46 seconds to circle once around the Sun. That time differential has to be made up somewhere so they added the day to the shortest month of the year.
- Lord Byron (poet) was born on Leap Day.
- There are about 4 million people with Leap Day birthdays and the chances of being born on Leap Day are about 1 in 1,461.
- People born on Leap Day are said by astrologers to have special or unusual talents.
- It’s also, since most of us write romance, the day that for centuries, women have been encouraged to propose to men. I read where this started back in the 5th century, when St. Bridget complained to St. Patrick about women having to wait for men to propose. So he set aside February 29th, allowing women to pop the question on that day.
This continued in Scotland, when Queen Margaret declared in 1288 that women could propose to men on February 29th. Even the more modern American Sadie Hawkins Day tradition has become synonymous with Leap Day.
And finally, the poem that helps keep us all straight. I found there are several renditions of this poem, so I’ll post the one I grew up with:
Thirty days has September,
April, June, and November.
All the rest have thirty-one,
Except February, which has twenty-eight.
And in leap year twenty-nine.
Happy Leap Day, everyone!