It takes the Earth about 365.242189 days to circle around the sun. However, the Gregorian calendar we follow has only 365 days. So if we didn’t add an extra day after every 4 years, we would lose almost 6 hours every year. After a century, our calendar would be off by about 24 days.
1. During Julius Caesar’s reign, February had 30 days. But when Augustus Caesar came to power, he wanted August (which then had 29 days), to have 31 instead, just like the month of July named after Julius.
2. When Julius Caesar introduced the leap year, he had only one rule. Only the year divisible by 4 had to be a leap year. This created too many leap years, but this was solved with the introduction of Pope Gregory’s Gregorian Calendar more than 1500 years later.
3. According to tradition, it is okay for a woman to propose a man on the Leap Day. St. Bridget complained to St. Patrick that women had to wait too long for men to propose them. So he gave them a day that came after every 4 years when they could propose a man instead.
4. There is also, a price to be paid if such a proposal is turned down. In Denmark, the man who turns down a woman’s Leap Day proposal would have to give her a dozen pairs of gloves, while in Finland, they must give her enough fabric to make a skirt.
5. Astrologers believe that people born on this date have exceptional qualities and talents.
6. People born on this day are called Leapers or Leaplings.
7. According to folklore, beans and peas planted in this year grow the wrong way.
8. In few European countries like Greece, Leap Years are considered to bring ill luck, and people avoid ceremonies like marriages. In Russia, these years are said to bring abrupt weather patterns and an increased risk of death.
9. There are many proverbs that have come around the leap year which tell about the bad luck it brings. For example, in Italy , they have proverbs that mean that this year is the doom years, as women are more erratic during that time.
10. The Honor Club Of Leap Year Day Babies is an actual club with more than 10,000 leaplings as members. Its aim is to raise awareness about the leap day and get those people in touch with others who share such a rare birthday with them.
11. February 29 is also observed as Rare Disease Day which is symbolized by a Zebra-printed ribbon.