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Did You Know that 2024 is a Leap Year?

Did You Know that 2024 is a Leap Year

February has an extra day this year, making 2024 a leap year. The addition of one day – February 29 which is today – makes the year 366 days long and not the usual 365 days.

The last leap year was February 29, 2020. The next leap year is in another four years on February 29, 2028.

What are leap years?

A leap year usually happens every four years. A year may be a leap year if it is evenly divisible by four.

Years divisible by 100 (century years such as 1900) can’t be leap years unless they are also divisible by 400. The years 1700, 1800, and 1900 were not leap years for this reason, but the year 2000 was a leap year because even though it is divisible by 100 it's also divisible by 400.

If a year satisfies both the rules above, it is a leap year.

So, the next time a leap year will be skipped is the year 2100.

Why do we have leap years?

We have leap years to keep our seasons in sync.

Here’s a more detailed explanation: Adding an extra day every four years keeps our yearly calendar correctly aligned with our seasons, since a year according to the Gregorian calendar (365 days) and a year according to Earth’s orbit around the Sun (approximately 365.25 days) are not the same length of time.

It takes our Earth 365.242190 days to orbit the sun, or 365 days 5 hours 48 minutes and 56 seconds. This’s slightly longer than the calendar year. The extra 5 hours 48 minutes and 56 seconds needs to be accounted for somehow or the seasons would begin to drift.

Thanks to leap year, our four seasons will always occur when we expect them to occur.

Why do we call it leap year?

A common year has 365 days with 52 weeks and one day. Each common year has 179 even-numbered days and 186 odd-numbered days.

In a regular, or common year, if your birthday were to occur on a Monday one year, the next year it should occur on a Tuesday. The addition of an extra day during a leap year means that your birthday now “leaps” over a day.

For example, instead of your birthday occurring on a Tuesday as it would following a common year, during a leap year, your birthday “leaps” over Tuesday and will now occur on a Wednesday.

Why is February chosen for leap year?

It can be tracked back to Julius Caesar’s calendar reforms in ancient Rome when he introduced the Julian calendar, which included a leap year to align the calendar year with the solar year.

The Julian Calendar was replaced in 1582 by Pope Gregory XIII and his advisors. They found that the calculations for a year were a bit too long and there were too many leap years in the Julian calendar.

The Gregorian calculations found that 365 days and 6 hours were too long for a year and shortened it to 5 hours and 49 minutes. The Gregorian calendar, which we use, shortened it a bit by not allowing leap years on the century years not divisible by 400.

What if you were born on February 29?

Do you really celebrate your birthday every four years?

No. Every three years, you get to celebrate your birthday on March 1,

You still get older, too!

Famous people born on Feb. 29:

Here are some famous people born on this day:

  • American rapper Ja Rule
  • Motivational speaker Tony Robbins
  • Peter Scanavino of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit
  • American actor Jessie Usher
  • Soccer player Ferrán Torres
  • Olivia Yang of TikTok fame
  • Edward Avila of YouTube fame

Is leap year good luck or bad luck?

Some people believe it brings good luck.

Bachelor's Day, sometimes known as Ladies' Privilege, is an Irish tradition that lets women propose to men on Leap on leap day, Feb. 29.

There’s a movie about that, too. Leap Year (2010) follows a real estate stager who heads to Ireland to meet her boyfriend on leap day and then propose marriage.

In Scotland, it was believed that leap day was when witches gathered to cause mischief. In Greece, it was advised not to get married during a leap year, especially on leap day.

In any event, it’s a unique day on which to be born.

Why does February have only 28 days?

Mathematically, to have 12 lunar months, you have to have one month that has an even number. So that is February.

The Romans dedicated February to the god of purification and left it with an even 28 days.