Falcons “leap” into new year

Every four years, an event occurs to help synchronize the calendar year with the solar year, otherwise known as a “Leap Year”.

According to History.com, the actual length of a full year is 365 1/4 days, instead of the commonly known 365 days. And, in order to keep the seasons from going out of whack, every four years an extra day is added to the calendar on February 29. Thus, the name “Leap Year” was originated because each date on the calendar jumps ahead two days of the week instead of one.

Leap Year itself was originally created and initiated by former Roman Dictator Julius Caesar when he realized the 355 day calendar did not sync up with the different seasons.

According to National Geographic, Caesar and astronomer Sosigenes, later came up with the 365 day calendar, otherwise known as the Julian Calendar. This calendar did not contain days numbered dates, but instead used calends, ides, and nons. A calend is the first day of the month, an ides is the middle of the month, and a non is the time between. The Leap Day originally took place six days before the first day of March, on Feb. 25, otherwise known as the day before the sixth of calends of March.  The Leap Day began in 46 BC every four years to make up for the discrepancy between lunar and solar calendars.

Although a Leap Year occurs every four years, there is still a chance that babies will be born on a Leap Day. While these “special” babies may not be able to celebrate on that particular date annually, they do have the option of celebrating every year either on February 28, March 1, or the entire week. Those who are born on this special day are offered the opportunity to join the “Honor Society of Leap Year Babies,” a society that began in 1977, now with over 11,000 people from all over the world who have joined.

Regarding Irish and British traditions, according to timeanddate.com, a leap day is  known as the only day in which a women can conduct a marriage proposal to a man. This concept goes back hundreds of years when the leap day was not recognized in Irish and British laws. Due to this, the day was considered to have no legal status, allowing for a break in tradition to be acceptable. The Greek culture however, views the Leap Year, as well as the Leap Day, as an unlucky time period for couples to marry one another.

The idea of the Leap Day took years and several historians to understand how it fit into the calendar . The concept of the Leap Year is important because it allows our seasons to fall into place as well as stay on track. Although many are unaffected by the Leap Year, the history behind it reveals the importance and meaning of this day and how it changed our interpretation of the calendar itself.



Print Friendly, PDF & Email