Why the Leap?

Have you ever stopped to wonder why some years have 29 days in February, while others stick to the usual 28? It’s because of Leap Day, an extra day we get every four years.

Leap Day occurs in leap years to balance the calendar with the solar year. It’s added because Earth’s orbit around the sun takes about 365.2425 days, not precisely 365 days, so an extra day every four years keeps the calendar aligned with the seasons. Therefore, every leap year has 366 days instead of 365, with the extra day falling on February 29.

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Leap Day Superstitions

Leap Day has been shrouded in superstitions and traditions that have been passed down through generations. Here’s a glimpse into the fascinating world of Leap Day beliefs:

One prevalent superstition suggests that getting married during a leap year leads to marital woes or even divorce. However, an Irish tradition encourages women to propose marriage on leap day, flipping the conventional gender roles.

In addition, various customs dictate consequences for those who refuse marriage proposals on leap day. For instance, Scottish and Finnish traditions entail fines or gifts for spurning such offers.

Babies born on February 29, known as “leaplings,” are subject to superstitions as well. While some cultures consider them unlucky, others celebrate them. Anthony, Texas, even hosts a festival dedicated to leaplings every four years.

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Why Celebrate Leap Day

Leap Day is a unique chance to celebrate the alignment of our calendars with Earth’s orbit. Beyond its practical purpose, Leap Day is a canvas for traditions and superstitions. Embracing Leap Day connects us to diverse cultures, fostering global unity. Celebrating this day is an acknowledgment of life’s surprises and an invitation to appreciate the extraordinary moments that make our journey unique.

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