Leap Day might not seem very important, but if we didn’t add this extra day to every fourth February, our calendar would be off by about 24 days in just 100 years! Many countries around the globe have their own ways of calculating Leap Years. In China, an entire extra month is added to the calendar about every three years instead of an extra day every fourth year. Read on to learn some more Leap Day traditions, superstitions and fun facts!

  • Leap Day was created by a Greek scientist and philosopher, Eratosthanes, over 2000 years ago, and added to the Gregorian Calendar by Julius Caesar.
  • According to an old Irish legend, St. Patrick agreed to St. Bridget’s request to allow women to propose to men on Leap Days. It is believed that the role reversal was meant to balance out gender equality much like  Leap Day balances out the calendar. Old Irish laws even used to force men to pay a penalty if they refused to give their hand in marriage!
  • Ethiopia has a calendar with a thirteenth month that has 5 days. Ethiopians add an extra day to that thirteenth month every four years.
  • An old Scottish superstition claims that being born on Leap Day is unlucky.
  • In Greece, it is considered unlucky to marry in a Leap Year, and doubly unlucky if you’re married on Leap Day.
  • Not only is a there a Leap Year and Leap Day in America, there is also a Leap Second that was added in 1972; an extra second is added every few years to atomic clocks.

Now that you know a little bit about what makes February 29th so unique, be sure to make your extra day extra special!

 

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