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MAIN Arrow to Holidays & Observances Holidays & Observances Arrow to Leap YearLeap Year

Fun Facts About Leap Year

When is the next leap year? Leap Year calendar2020.

A leap year is any year with 366 days instead of the usual 365 days. Therefore, leap day in 2020 will fall on Saturday, February 29th.

So...why the extra day?

It was the ancient Egyptians who first figured out that the solar year and the calendar year didn't always match up.

That's because it actually takes the Earth a little longer than a year to travel around the Sun — 365 days, 5 hours, 48 minutes, and 46 seconds, to be exact.

Therefore, as hours accumulated over the centures, an extra day was occasionally added to the calendar, and over time the practice became more or less official.

The Romans first designated February 29 as leap day, but a more precise formula (still in use today) was adopted in the 16th century when the Gregorian calendar fine-tuned the calculations to include a leap day in years only divisible by four - 2012, 2016, 2020, 2024, etc.

Thankfully, all this intricate plotting will continue to keep us in tune with the seasons over the next several thousand years.


Leap Day 2020

Leap Day Delivery
krispy kreme

Free donuts to hospital staff
who deliver 2020 leap day babies.

In 2020, leap year lines happens to perfectly line up the major holidays so that Valentines Day lands on date night Friday and Cinco de Mayo lands on (Taco) Tuesday.

Christmas 2020 and New Year's Day 2021 are also on a Friday, meaning a leisurely 3-day weekend to kick off both holidays!

Meanwhile, watch for February 29th to suddenly appear on the radar of marketers who are known to jump on the bandwagon by offering Leap Day sales and specials.

For example, Krispy Kreme is  introducing delivery service on leap day 2020. To mark the occasion, the chain is delivering free donuts to dozens of hospitals to celebrate the medical staff and all the babies born February 29. At Denny's, there's an offer for a free Grand Slam at all locations nationwide to anyone born on February 29 — all you have to do is show your ID to redeem it that day.

If you've got the early spring travel bug, you can book a room at Great Wolf Lodge on February 29 for $29 per person with code LEAPYEAR. The offer is good for Family Suites bookings between April 13 and May 21, 2020 with a minimum of two guests per room.

Shop at Bare Necessities on Leap Day 2020 and get 29% off thousands of styles plus free 2-day shipping on orders over $70. Reebok is also offering $29.99 Leap Year specials with code LEAP when you visit the site on February 29.

Like lobster? Legal Sea Foods is offering two one-pound steamed lobsters and a choice of two sides for $29 (except airport locations) on February 29.

Happy Leap Day!


Born on a leap day?

Leap year babies : Anthonio Sabado Jr. & Ja Rule
Leap Day babies: Antonio
Sabato Jr. and rapper Ja Rule.

Anyone born on a leap day is known as a "leapling".

According to astrologers, you were born under the sign of Pisces on February 29. Owing to the unique day on which you arrived into the world, like other leap day babies you are more apt to go your own way and exhibit an independent streak and optimistic spirit.

While they have to wait every four years to "officially" observe their birthdays, leap year babies typically choose either February 28 or March 1 to celebrate in years that aren't leap years.


Some famous people born on February 29

Born 1976 - Ja Rule, rapper
Born 1972 - Anthonio Sabato Jr., model & actor
Born 1916 - Dinah Shore, singer
Born 1904 - Jimmy Dorsey, bandleader.
Born 1792 - Gioacchino Rossini, Italian opera composer


Leap Day traditions - no man is safe!

While leap day helped official timekeepers, it also resulted in social customs turned upside down when February 29 became a "no man's land" without legal jurisdiction.

As the story goes, the tradition of women romantically pursuing men in leap years began in 5th century Ireland, when St. Bridget complained to St. Patrick about the fair sex having to wait for men to propose. Patrick finally relented and set February 29 aside as the day set aside allowing women the right to ask for a man's hand in marriage.

The tradition continued in Scotland, when Queen Margaret declared in 1288 that on February 29 a woman had the right to pop the question to any man she fancied. Menfolk who refused were faced with a fine in the form of a kiss, a silk dress, or a pair of gloves that were given to the rejected lady fair.

A similar modern American tradition, Sadie Hawkins Day, honors "the homeliest gal in the hills" created by Al Capp in the cartoon strip Li'l Abner. In the famous story line, Sadie and every other woman in town were allowed on that day to pursue and catch the most eligible bachelors in Dogpatch. Although the comic strip placed Sadie Hawkins Day in November, today it has become almost synonymous with February 29.


A leap year poem to remember it by

Thirty days hath September,
April, June and November;
All the rest have thirty-one
Save February, she alone
Hath eight days and a score
Til leap year gives her one day more.

More about leap year around the Web:

 
 

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