Leap Year Fun Facts
February is normally a pretty uneventful month. Valentine’s Day graces us with a little excitement and drama. Once that passes it’s back to the same old February. Since February is the shortest month of the year, it usually gets passed over pretty quickly. But this year, February brings us a Leap Day! I feel like most years, all the other months think they’re superior. But once every four years, February gets a chance to prove itself as the coolest month and make its mark on the calendar. Maybe you’re unimpressed and thinking the last time you were excited about a Leap Year was in Grade School. But I promise you the history behind Leap Years is juicier than you realize, so here are some Leap Year Fun Facts.
What is a Leap Year?
As you know, every four years we get a Leap Year, which contains a Leap Day, which is one extra day. Why does this happen? Well basically Leap Days are a way to balance the calendar. We say that one year consists of 365 days, but really it’s closer to 365 days 5 hours and 48 minutes. If we didn’t have a Leap Day every four years, we would lose six hours every year, and that could really add up over time.
Leap Year History
Julius Caesar, the Dictator of the Roman Empire, was the original creator of the Leap Day. After noticing that the calendar was very out of whack, he consulted the best astronomers of the day. In 46 B.C. he decided to add an intercalary day once every four years. Caesar also changed the name of the fifth month from “Quintillis” to “July” to honor himself.
Even after improving the calendar system, it was still off balance, so in 1582, Pope Gregory XIII made a few more adjustments. So now, a leap year doesn’t actually occur just every four years. Leap years actually occur in years divisible by four, except for those divisible by 100 and not divisible by 400. This Gregorian Calendar is still what we use today.
Leap Year Fun Facts
- There’s a legend that Mary, Queen of Scots, created a rule that women could propose to men on a Leap Day. According to the tale, if the man refused the woman’s proposal, then he would have to pay for a dress for her to soften the blow.
- There is a 1 in 1500 chance of being born on a Leap Day. Those who are born on the Leap Day are often called Leaplings. Some astrologers believe that these Leaplings possess strange talents.
- In Hong Kong, the legal birthday of a Leapling is March 1. In New Zealand, it is February 28th.
- Karin Henriksen of Norway had three children born on three consecutive Leap Days: 1960, 1964, and 1968.
- Sir James Wilson, the Eighth Premier of Tasmania, was the only famous person to have been born and died on a Leap Day.
- Anthony, Texas is the official Leap Year Capital of the World. The city hosts a four-day festival for the occasion.
- Apparently the first warrants for arrest of the Salem Witch Trials occurred on the Leap Day of 1692!
After reading these Leap Year Fun Facts, you can see that February isn’t boring at all– it’s a unique month that stands out from the others. The month goes from being perceived as an underdog to a total rockstar. If you feel like your spirit month is February, then have no fear– you can work on your image and become a rockstar too! Book an appointment with our team of Image Consultants at Henry A. Davidsen. We know the market for Philadelphia custom clothing better than anyone and we will get you into a made-to-measure suit that makes you look and feel your very best.