From the pages of the Old Farmer's Almanac, I garnered a few interesting facts and folk lore about Leap year. I just knew you were dying to know all the interesting bits of information!
Some of this you may already know and some you may not, but either way you can file it away for future use. Always interesting to find out about where things came from, don't you think?
A "Leap" Day is an extra day on February 29 which is added nearly every 4 years to today's Gregorian calendar.
How Do We Calculate Leap Years?
A year is a leap year if it is divisible by 4, but century years are not leap years unless they are divisible by 400.
So, the years 1700, 1800, and 1900 were not leap years, but the year 2000 was.
Non-leap years begin and end on the same day of the week.
Leap Year Dates
2012 Wednesday, February 29
2016 Monday, February 29
2020 Saturday, February 29
2024 Thursday, February 29
Why Do We Need Leap Years?
The actual length of a year (the rotation of Earth around the Sun) is 365.2422 days. If we didn't have leap years, the seasons would shift about a quarter of a day every year, and after 100 years the seasons would be off by 25 days. The extra leap day adjusts this drift.
Leap Year Folklore
According to folklore, in a leap year, the weather always changes on Friday.
Know a "leapling"? (A person born in a leap year is called a leapling.)
"Leap year was ne'er a good sheep year"
Are Leap Years Bad Luck?
In some cultures, it is considered bad luck to marry during a leap year. We don't know of any evidence supporting this bad luck impression, but we do know that during leap years Rome burned (64), George Armstrong Custer fought the Battle of the Little Bighorn (1876), and the Titanic sank (1912). By the same token, also in leap years, the Pilgrims landed at Plymouth, Massachusetts (1620), Benjamin Franklin proved that lightning is electricity (1752), and gold was discovered in California (1848).
Like anything else, this information is only as important as what you make it. You know me, though...I always like the stuff I find in the Farmers Almanac!
Coffee outside on the patio this morning. It's kinda foggy, but we can still listen to the birds singing! Those doves sure do sound nice, don't they?