Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Leap Year

Thirty days hath September,
April, June and November;
All the rest have thirty-one
Excepting February alone
Which hath but twenty-eight, in fine,
Til leap year gives it twenty-nine

Since 2012 is a leap year we have an extra day this year, February 29th. Therefore, I was curious about learning more about the day and it's origin. Below is what I have found through a very extensive research process (about 2 minutes on the internet ...haha). Hopefully, you will learn something new and make the extra 24 hours this year memorable!

Leap Year definition according to urbandicitionary.com
(n.) A year where Febuary has 29 days. This is because the earth actually takes 365.24 days to orbit the sun completely. This figure is rounded to 365.25, so after four years, we have to add an extra day. However, since it is actually a little less than a whole day, every 100 years we will be a day ahead. There are 10 leap years in 100 years, and hence, we must miss one of these years. This was last done in 1900, and shall next be done in 2100, hence, it is unlikely many of us will live to see the next one, unless this definitions is still here (along with urbandictionary of course!) in many years' time.
  1. Every year divisible by four is a lap year (1996, 2000, 2004)
  2. Unless it's also divisible by 100 (1800, 1900, 2100)
  3. However, if a year is divisible by 4, 100 and 400, it's a leap year (1600, 2000, 2400)
A Leap Day Tradition:
The one day of the year on which, traditionally, women can propose to men. It was considered that as the day also had no legal status, it was reasonable to assume that tradition had no status, so women took advantage of this and proposed to the man they wanted to marry. A law once existed in Scotland forbidding a man to refuse a proposal made to him. Punishment for such an offense was a large fine. This tradition goes back to an old Irish legend concerning St. Patrick and St. Bridget in the 5th Century. In the 5th Century, a nun by the name of St. Bridget, petitioned St. Patrick on behalf of all women in that they have a more active role in choosing their husbands. As a result of this request, women were allowed to propose to men once every four years. http://www.projectbritain.com/year/leapyear.htm

Leap Year Superstition
-In Scotland it is thought unlucky to be born on a Leap Year's Day. http://www.projectbritain.com/year/leapyear.htm
-There is a Greek superstition that claims couples have bad luck if they marry during a leap year.

Random Facts:
  • According to astrologers, those born under the sign of Pisces on February 29 have unusual traits and personalities reflecting their special status.
  • February 2008 had five Fridays, and the next year that this will happen is 2036.
  • The longest time between two leap years is 8 years. Last time was between 1896 and 1904. The next time will be between 2096 and 2104.
So what can you do with the extra day this Leap Year? Well you could be ironic and watch the movie Leap Year! It's a 2010 romantic comedy film where a girl travels to Dublin, Ireland to propose to her boyfriend. However, there is a huge storm and she gets stranded and needs the help of a surly Irish innkeeper to assist her in the rest of her journey. Gotta say, not one for chick flicks but this movie did make me laugh! HAPPY LEAP YEAR! 

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