Today is Leap Day! Julius Caesar (with help from his astronomer, Sosigenes) added Leap Years to the calendar in 45 BC. They discovered that there are actually 365.2425 days in a year and decided to compensate by adding one extra day to “Februarius” every four years. Under normal circumstances, a date that falls on a Tuesday one year will fall on a Wednesday the next year. However, in a Leap Year we “leap” over one day of the week, which is how this phenomenon got its name.
There are many traditions and superstitions associated with Leap Years and Leap Days. According to an Irish legend, women have the privilege of proposing marriage in a Leap Year, and any man that refuses must offer a gift in recompense. People born on a Leap Day are known as Leaplings or Leapers. Each country has to have a policy about when a February 29th birthday is legally observed in a non-Leap Year!
Leap Day comes around just once every four years, so take some time to celebrate this unique occasion! Share a free Leap Day eCard with friends and family, and watch out for surprise marriage proposals!