Did you know that 2016 is a leap year? February 29 only comes around once every four years, and we’re finally getting to see another Leap Day! Click through to learn five facts about Leap Day — like why there even is one in the first place!
Happy Leap Day! The strange, special holiday adds an extra day to February, the shortest month, just once every four years — and that’s happening on a Monday in 2016! We all accept Leap Day as something that just happens, but not many of us actually know anything about the day itself! Click through for five important facts!
Leap Day is all Julius Caesar’s doing
Back in 45 BCE, Julius Caesar asked his astronomer, Sosigenes, to fix the existing calendar, which was 355 days, and an extra 22-day month every other year. Sosigenes devised the 365-day calendar with an added day ever four years system! That wasn’t quite enough, though. In 1582, Pope Gregory XIII determined that years dividable by 100 wouldn’t be leap years unless they could also be divided by 400. Whatever works!
What’s your actual birthday if you were born on Leap Day?
If a baby was born on February 29, their birthday is legally, in the United States, March 1. In other parts of the world, like China, the birthday is legally February 28. All depends on location!
The chance of having a Leap Day baby is very rare
Having a baby born on Leap Day is a one in 1,461 chance, according to BBC. There are currently an estimated 5 million “leapsters” worldwide.
Leap Day is also ‘Bachelor’s Day’ in Ireland
There’s nothing stopping women from proposing to their significant others any day of the year, but Leap Day is marked with two stories about the origins of Ireland’s Bachelor’s Day. In the first, St. Bridget, in fifth-century Ireland, wanted to marry St. Patrick and proposed. He made Leap Day as a date to let all women pop the question — and told St. Bridget no. In the second, Queen Margaret of Scotland decided at age 5 that girls could propose on Leap Day, and any boys who refused would have to give them a kiss or a gift.
Some seriously freaky things have happened on Leap Day
Throughout history, leap years have always been mired in mystery. One of the creepiest things to happen? The Salem Witch Trials began on February 29, 1692!
HollywoodLifers, are you excited that 2016 is a leap year? Tell us in the comments!