Weird, But True: Five Facts About Leap Day
February is sticking around for one extra day this year. This Saturday, February 29, is a leap day. Here are five interesting factoids about leap day.
Leap days are needed to keep our calendar in alignment with the Earth's revolutions around the Sun.
Here are five leap day factoids to share with your friends...
1- It takes the Earth 365 days, 5 hours, 48 minutes, and 45 seconds to circle once around the Sun. This called a tropical year. Without an extra day on February 29 nearly every four years, we would lose almost six hours every year. After only 100 years, our calendar would be off by approximately 24 days.
2- According to an old Irish legend, St Brigid struck a deal with St Patrick to allow women to propose to men – and not just the other way around – every four years. In some places, leap day has been known as “Bachelors’ Day” for the same reason. A man was expected to pay a penalty if he refused a marriage proposal from a woman on Leap Day.
3- People born on February 29 are all invited to join The Honor Society of Leap Year Day Babies. Leap day babies are called leapers or leaplings. There is a one in 1,461 chance of being a leap day baby. Four million people in the world are leap day babies.
4- According to the Guinness Book of Records, there is that of the Keogh family from Ireland. Peter Anthony was born in Ireland on a Leap Day in 1940, while his son, Peter Eric, was born on Feb. 29, 1964. Peter Eric's daughter, Bethany Wealth, was also a Leap Day baby, born on Feb. 29, 1996.
5- Full-time employees with a fixed annual salary who work on February 29 may actually be working for free. An annual salary is technically set for a typical year, which doesn’t include the extra day every four years.