Ever feel like there aren’t enough hours in the day or days in the year? Well this year you get 24 extra hours; it’s leap year! Here are a few fun facts that you might not know about leap year 2016.
Because the universe and the manmade calendar don’t align, we have to add an extra day to our calendar every four years. There aren’t really 365 neatly packaged days in a year. There are really 365 days, 5 hours, 48 minutes, and 46 seconds in a year. We just round up to 366 every four years to make up the difference. It comes out more or less even.
Leap Year is More than 2,000 Years Old
Ancient Egyptians were the first to realize that the calendar wasn’t exact but it wasn’t until Julius Caesar that it became official. The extra year was added to the Roman calendar (the calendar most of us use today) near the turn of the century.
Other Stuff that Happens Every Four Years
The Summer Olympics, the Winter Olympics, the presidential election, and FIFA World Cup Soccer all happen every four years. Things that happen every four years are called quadrennial events.
How to Tell if It’s a Leap Year
Mathisfun.com says if the year can be evenly divided by 4 it’s a leap year . . . unless the year can be evenly divided by 100, then it’s not . . . unless it can be evenly divided by 400, then it is. Got that?
Leap Day Proposal Tradition
Irish tradition says that women can, and should, propose to men on Leap Year Day. If he refuses, he must give the lady a silk gown, or so the tradition goes.
Getting Married on Leap Day
Getting engaged might be ok for a leap year, but the Greeks say it’s unlucky for a couple tomarry in a leap year, especially on Leap Day.
Leap Year Birthdays
People born on Leap Day are called “Leaplings” and are said to have special talents and unique personalities. However, the Chinese say that children born on Leap Day are unlucky and difficult to raise. There are over 4 million Leaplings in the world today. They represent 1 out of every 1,461.
Leap Year Day Parties
In 2016, in Malaga, Spain there is a huge party designed to gather as many Leaplings in one place as possible. They aim to break a world record and get in the Guinness Book of World Records.