Leap Year: One giant leap for mankind

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Leap Year: One giant leap for mankind

The facts and quirks of the occasional day
We can credit Julius Caesar for leap year. He introduced the Julian calendar in A.D. 45, with inserting the additional day based on astronomical observations.
Bayless
Holteen
Phelps
Did you know?

There are a lot of fun facts around the day that occurs once every four years (mostly):
The switch from the Julian to the Gregorian calendar was not quick. It took 345 years for the final country, Turkey, to make the change in 1927.
At the time of the adoption, 10 days were dropped to synchronize the Gregorian calendar with the Julian, but the longer it took to make the change, the more days had to be dropped from the changeover year. For Turkey, it was 13 days.
Sweden, which included Finland at the time, had one of the rockiest times changing over. The adjustments led to a double leap year in 1712 – two days were added to February, so it had both a Feb. 29 and Feb. 30. And when it made the final conversion to the Gregorian calendar in 1753, Feb. 17 was followed by March 1.
It’s not just Western calendars that include leap years. On the Chinese calendar, leap days occur in the years of the monkey, dragon and rat.
While there isn’t any particular astrological importance to Feb. 29, astrologer Lyn Goldberg said because it always occurs during an election year, the planets encourage thoughtful change. And how does astrology affect people born on Feb. 29? “They’re each special in their own way,” she said with a smile.
Scots consider it unlucky to be born on leap day, and Greeks consider it unlucky to marry in a leap year, particularly unlucky to marry on leap day.
Many countries have a tradition that Feb. 29 is a day when a woman can propose to a man. In some, if the man says no, he is required to pay a penalty, such as a gown or money.
In some European countries, particularly at the higher levels of society, if a man says “no” to a woman’s proposal, he has to buy her 12 pairs of gloves, so she can hide the embarrassment of not having an engagement ring on her finger. There were even laws governing the tradition during the Middle Ages.
Two different women are in the Guinness World Records for having given birth to three sequential children on Feb. 29.
Folks born on Feb. 29 can join the Honor Society of Leap Year Babies.

Leap Year: One giant leap for mankind

We can credit Julius Caesar for leap year. He introduced the Julian calendar in A.D. 45, with inserting the additional day based on astronomical observations.
Bayless
Holteen
Phelps
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