The Long Awaited Leap Year!

  • The Long Awaited Leap Year!

    Posted by : Classmate Date : 29th February 2016


    The concept of a leap year has been a subject of amusement for kids and adults alike. A leap year is distinguished by the one additional day it carries in the month of February. The need for a leap day every four years arises from the fact that the earth's complete orbit around the sun takes 365 days, 5 hours, 48 minutes and 46 seconds. These extra hours are added and adjusted in the form of 29th February every 4 years to keep the calendar year in sync with the seasonal year. Besides the stated science, let's look at some of the facts that make a leap day one of the most interesting days in the calendar.

1. The idea of a Leap day was introduced during the reign of Julius Caesar in 46 BC. This extra day was added to February as it was considered to be the last month of the Roman calendar.

2. A year can only be considered a leap year if it is divisible by 4. The years that are divisible by 100 but not 400 cannot be classified as leap years. This means that years 1500, 1700, 1800 and 1900 were not leap years!

3. The chance of being born on a leap day is one in 1,461. These people born on February 29 are called 'leaplings' or 'leapers'.

4. The legal birthdate for people born on the 29th of February changes across countries. While the legal birthdate of a leapling is the 1st of March in Hong Kong, it is the 28th of February in New Zealand.

5. Karin Henriksen of Norway is a world record holder for having given birth to three children on a leap day. Her first daughter was born in 1960 and her other two sons were born in 1964 and 1968.

6. Sir James Milne Wilson, Premier of Tasmania, is one of the very few people who was born on the 29th of February in 1812 and died on the same day in 1880.

7. The town of Anthony in Texas, US claims itself to be the 'Leap Year Capital of the World'. Every leap year, a four day festival is organized to celebrate the birthdays of those born in leap years.

8. In Ireland and Britain, there exists an old tradition where women can propose marriage to the men of their desire. If a man refuses, he has to compensate for it by giving the woman presents that can vary from a silk dress to hand gloves.

If you look at the dates technically, a leapling ages at a 4 times slower rate than a person born on any other day. Just imagine, if you are a leapling, you can say that you are only 4 years old even though your actual age is 16! So, go ahead, test the knowledge of your friends with these fun leap year facts!

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