In acknowledgment of February 29th, I’ve decided to do a bit of light reading on Leap Years & Leap days.. And share a bit of the trivia.
The proper term for a leap year is a bissextile year, also known as intercalary year and has 366 days in the year as opposed to the usual 365 days.
The first leap year observed with the Gregorian Calendar is dated back to 1582. Although it was the ancient Egyptians who first noticed the inconsistency between the solar year and a manmade calendar, the Romans were the first to designate February 29th as being a leap day. It was further fine-tuned in the 16th century when the Gregorian calendar included a leap day only in the years divisible by 4.
‘Leapers’ is the term given to those born on a leap day. Some well-known leapers include: Italian opera singer Gioacchino Rossini (1792), rapper Ja Rule (1976), English footballer Darren Ambrose (1984) and serial killer Aileen Wuornos (1956).
Astrologers argue that Pisceans born on February 29th have special talents, with their personalities reflecting their special status. [Please explain Aileen’s special talent?]
There’s a free membership for leapers at The Honor Society of Leap Year Day Babies.
In 5th century Ireland, there existed a tradition where women were given the opportunity to propose marriage to men only in a leap year. The origination of such a tradition lay with a complaint of St. Bridget to St. Patrick over the long wait women had to go through for a man to propose. In Scotland, women were encouraged to wear a red petticoat that’s partly visible to the man when she proposed.
1 in 5 Greek couples avoid planning their wedding day in a leap year due to a superstition that they will suffer bad luck if they do.
For those who aren’t big on anniversaries or those who are prone to forgetting them, try setting your wedding date on February 29th. You have the perfect excuse 😉 (“It’s not that I didn’t remember honey, this year is just not our year..”)