Sunday, February 26, 2012

365.242199 days to be exact.

The 29th of February is a date that occurs every four years; also known as leap day.  Leap years are considered necessary because the actual length of a year is 365.242199 days (also known as a tropical year).  And they are needed to keep our calendar in alignment with the Earth's revolutions around the Sun.  If we didn't add a day on February 29th nearly every four years, we would lose almost six hours every year.  After 100 years, our calendar would be off by approximately 24 days.

Julius Caesar was behind the origin of leap year in 45 BC (Julian Calendar).  The early Romans had a 355-day calendar. To keep festivals occurring around the same season each year, a 22- or 23-day month was created every second year.  Caesar decided to simplify things and added days to different months of the year to create the 365-day calendar . . . calculations that were actually made by Caesar's Astronomer, Sosigenes.  Every fourth year following the 28th day of Februarius, (February 29th) one day was to be added, making every four year a leap year.

The Julian Calendar was refined in 1582 by Pope Gregory XIII.  A new rule that a century year is not a Leap Year unless it's evenly divisible by 400 (Gregorian Calendar or Christian Calendar).

The Gregorian Calendar (AKA Western Calendar or Christian Calendar) is today's internationally-accepted civil calendar.

There are also several traditions and superstitions for leap year.  Some examples of those are as follows:

  • There is an old Irish Legend stating that St. Bridget struck a deal with St. Patrick to allow women to propose to men . . . every four years.  It is believed to have been introduced to balance the traditional roles of men and women in a similar way to how Leap Day balances the calendar.
  • People that are born on February 29th are all invited to join The Honor Society of Leap Year Day Babies.
And lastly some famous people born on February 29th:
  • Pope Paul III, (1468 - 1549)
  • Gioacchino Rossini, Italian composer {EX: The Barber of Seville} (1792 - 1868)
  • Morarji Desai, Former Indian Prime Minister (1896 - 1995)
  • Dinah Shore, American Singer (1916 - 1994)
  • Al Rosen, American Baseball Player (1924 - )
  • Carlos Humberto Romero, Former President of El Salvador (1924 - )
  • Tony Robbins, American Motivational Speaker (1960 - )
  • Lyndon Byers, Canadian Hockey Player (1964 - )
  • Antonio Sabato, Jr., Italian-Born Actor (1972 - )
  • Ja Rule, American Rapper and Actor (1976 - )
  • Chris Conley, American Musician and Songwriter/Composer (1980 - )

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