Today is the 29th of February!
It’s an extra day! You have an extra day! Go crazy! With your extra day! That doesn’t happy very often (“every four years” really isn’t what I’d call “very often”). An extra day! Unless, you know, you have to work or go to school or something.
A patron asked us the other day just what exactly is up with Leap Years and Leap Days, and there’s a lot of really complicated explanations out there that can only confuse a person more than anything else.
For example, this is the opening of the Wikipedia article on Leap Day:
February 29, known as a leap day in the Gregorian calendar, is a date that occurs in most years that are evenly divisible by 4, such as 2004, 2008, 2012 and 2016. Years that are evenly divisible by 100 do not contain a leap day, with the exception of years that are evenly divisible by 400, which do contain a leap day; thus 1900 did not contain a leap day while 2000 did. Years containing a leap day are called leap years. February 29 is the 60th day of the Gregorian calendar in such a year, with 306 days remaining until the end of that year.
That makes sense, right? Besides being a little complicated and kind of confusing, right?
Well, the same Wikipedia article also has a fairly easy explanation for Leap Days, which I’ll break down like this: Each day has 24 hours in it, right? A year is the Earth’s annual trip around the sun, right? And each year, as defined by modern calendars, consists of 365 days, right? Well, yes, and also… No.
The annual revolution of our planet around the sun actually takes 365 days and 6 hours to complete. So every four years we take those accumulated extra hours (6 of them with each year), and we add that to the calendar as – ta da! – February 29. It’s something we do just to make sure that the calendar stays fairly accurate to the planet’s journey around the sun.
Also, there’s this:
Also, there’s the whole Julius Caesar angle.
But basically, like I said, it’s kind of an extra day, and one you want to enjoy.
Just out of curiosity: Any of our patrons or readers out there who were born on Feb. 29? If so, then HAPPY BIRTHDAY! But also, if you don’t mind us asking, how, and also when, do you celebrate your birthday?