During a Leap Year there are 366 days in the year instead of 365.
Why do we have a Leap Year? If has to do with the Earth and the Sun.
It takes the Earth 365 days to make a complete orbit around the Sun. We call this a solar year.
The solar year is supposed to line up with our calendar (we use the Gregorian calendar) year, but without the leap year it won’t. Why?
It actually takes the earth 365 days 5 hours 48 minutes and 46 seconds to complete the orbit around the sun.
That extra time it takes for the Earth to complete it’s orbit adds up.
So every 4 years an extra day is added so that the solar year will stay in line with our calendar year.
Even with the extra day added every 4 years the calendar is still off by 11 minutes and 14 seconds.
To fix this problem leap year is cancelled 3 times every 400 years.
So, how can you find out if it’s going to be a leap year?
In order for it to be a leap year, the year have to be evenly divided by the number 4 like in 2016.
If the year can be evenly divided by 100 is it not a leap year unless it can also be evenly divided by 400.
If January 1st (the first day of the year) and December 31st (the last day of the year) fall on different days of the week, it is a Leap Year.
The Egyptians were the first to start Leap Year.
The Romans later followed the Egyptians and picked the date February 29th
Different cultural calendars deal with leap year differently. The Chinese calendar adds a whole Leap Month every 3 years. The Tabular Islamic Hijri calendar has a 30 year cycle of 11 Leap Years have 355 days and then 19 years have 354 days.
Sometimes babies born on Leap Day are called leaplings.
People who have a birthday on February 29th often celebrate on March 1st.
The U.S Presidential Elections and the Summer Olympics happen during Leap Years.
In Ireland a women was allowed to propose to a man on Leap Day.
In European countries leap day was also called Bachelor’s Day. If a man turned down a marriage proposal from a women he has to pay a penalty.
In Scotland it used to be considered bad luck to be born on Leap Day.
In Greece it was considered bad luck to get married during a Leap Year