Have you noticed that this month has 29 days instead of 28?  No, it’s not a mistake, it is leap year!

A year is measured by how long it takes the Earth to make a full rotation around the sun.  We typically think it is 365 days, but it is actually 365 days, 5 hours, 48 minutes and 46 seconds to be exact.

A little history...

  • In 46 B.C. Julius Caesar (Julian calendar) proposed the first leap year with the understanding that a year comprised of 365.25 days.
  • 1,500 years later, Pope Gregory XIII revised it to our present day calendar (Gregorian calendar) which states 365 days a year with an added day every four years. This added day is called a leap day, and the year during which it is added is a leap year.

A few other tidbits...

  • Our present day calendar still loses 27 seconds a year or 1 day every 3,236 years.
  • The Persian calendar only loses 1 second per year or 1 day in every 110,000 years.
  • If you are born in a leap year you are called a “Leapling”
  • During the 5th century St. Patrick set aside February 29th as the only day a woman would be allowed to propose to a man. Prior to that, the woman had to wait for the man to propose.

Have a happy Leap Day this Saturday, February 29!