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Posts Tagged ‘Trivia’

Clip art copyrighted by Bobbie Peachey, http://webclipart.about.com

Okay, this post is less than timely — apparently I need more than one extra day in the month of February!  Just for fun, here are a few random bits of trivia about Leap Year.

  • Every year divisible by four is a leap year except full centuries, which must be evenly divisible by 400.  1700, 1800 and 1900 were not leap years, but 2000 was.  Blame Earth’s orbit;  it takes 365.2422 days to orbit the sun.  If it took exactly 365.25 days, every fourth year would work.  Since it takes a little less time than that however, it was decided to lose three Leap Days every 400 years to even things out.
  • According to folk tradition, leap years presented the only opportunity for women to propose marriage to men.  Going along with this, a man proposed to during this time was obligated to offer her a nice gift if he chose to decline the proposal:  perhaps a few pairs of gloves to help her conceal the fact that there was no ring on her finger?
  • People born on February 29 are sometimes called Leaplings or Leapers.  On non-leap-day-years they often acknowledge their birthday as either February 28 or March 1.  My guess is that most kids clamor for a February 28th celebration — what child would want to wait a day longer than necessary to have a birthday party?

For Further Reading:  The Privilege of Ladies, How Do We Calculate Leap Years?, Chase’s Calendar of Events

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