Celebrate an Extra Day in your Year -- Say Cheers to the Leap Year

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Today In History

Leap Year

Feb-28, 2016

Hello, people! Hope you’re doing great in this month of February with festivities galore. Right from Valentine’s Day to Martin Luther King’s Day and from Groundhog Day to Chinese New Year – we had the best of everything this season! But wait, stay put and think, think hard. Is there something special this year? Oh, come on, guys, you people know about everything, right? Yeah? Fabulous! You guys are very well-informed! Yes, indeed, we’re talking about the great Leap Year that marks the addition of one extra day this season – the 29th of February!

Leap Year

So we have 366 days this year, instead of the traditional 365. That gives us one day in excess! Imagine, what all you can do if you get 24 hours extra? There can be a whole lot of learning, exploring, understanding, studying and yes, of course, playing and enjoying. 

Thirty days hath September, 
April, June, and November; 
All the rest have thirty-one, 
Excepting February alone 
Which hath but twenty-eight, in fine, 
Till leap year gives it twenty-nine
-    Anonymous 

Well, we think you must know the reason we anoint the 29th of February with such significance. Okay, now sit straight and read on carefully: Every year the earth completes 365 1/4th day which is apparently a quarter greater than the actual number of 365 days. Therefore, now since you guys are great at math, please tell us how much does a quarter multiplied by 4 equals to? Come on, hurry up! Let’s do the math right here: 1/4 * 4 = 1. Exactly! You’re awesome. We get one day at the end of every 4 years. There you get the answer – Leap Year occurs once every 4 years!

Julius Caesar

Here’s another piece of valuable information regarding the month February and the subsequent story of the Leap Year. Legend has it that earliertThe Roman calendar used to carry 355 days with an extra 22-day month every two years until Julius Caesar became emperor in the 1st Century and ordered his Alexandrian astronomer Sosigenes to devise something better.
Sosigenes, being worth his name, decided on a 365-day year with an extra day every four years to incorporate the additional hours, and so February 29th was born.

Now, as you very well know of our tradition of having history and inspiring accounts of folklore and some real life tales, we’ll again travel back in time to discover some lost pearls of legends. Okay, guys, now tell us. Do you know Christopher Columbus? Yeah? Right. He was a great explorer, discoverer and is known to travel across the Atlantic Ocean four times! He is also known to be the one to discover America! Well, that’s huge. 

Well, Leap Year has certainly been a lucky one for Mr. Columbus

It so once happened that Columbus found himself stranded on an island of Jamaica. The locals were kind and generous and offered their simple food and essentials to the great explorer. But Columbus, holding up his arrogant and snobbish attitude, didn’t accept any of it to the extent that the natives decided never to provide him anything.

As they say, what goes around, comes around, Christopher did have to give up his whims and fancies to obtain food from the people. However, the local folks were now smart and didn’t pay any heed to his requests.

This was when the great Columbus devised a plan. He knew that the lunar eclipse was going to occur a little later. Therefore, he proclaimed that if he is not given food, then the moon will get shadowed by God in a way to punish the natives. The people started taking his words seriously when the sun cast a dark shadow on the moon and darkened the entire region. The local population were scared and pleaded Christopher to do something about it. The discoverer stayed put in his ship’s cabin for over an hour when he came back and announced that God was ready to save the moon only if the natives provided him and his naval chiefs with food and water.

The panicked pupils served delightful food to Columbus and his entourage, and it saved the day for everyone, as the moon started emerging from the shadow leaving the people in awe of the explorer. 

This was the tale of the great Columbus, who took complete advantage of the Leap Year.

Guess what, in many traditions across the world, Leap Year is known to be a highly successful occasion. Several people believe that anything started on the 29th of

February bring with it a lucky omen as everything is deemed to be successful.

Let’s talk about a few of the traditions related to the celebration of the Leap Year.

Women Propose on this Day:

Yes! We’re sure you watch movies where the entire concept of proposing is done by men, well, mostly. However, according to age-old rituals, women can propose on leap year’s day to optimize their chances to getting hitched to the man of their dreams.


Leap Day Customs & Traditions:

Leap Day, on February 29, has been a day of traditions, folklore, and superstitions ever since Julius Caesar first introduced Leap Years over 2000 years ago.


Women Propose to Their Men

Women Proposing To Men

According to an old Irish legend, or possibly history, St Brigid struck a deal with St Patrick to allow women to propose to men – and not just the other way around – every four years.
This 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.

Gloves Hide Naked Ring Finger

Bachelor's Day

In some regions, leap day has been known as “Bachelors’ Day” for the very same reason. Interesting, isn’t it? “Bachelor’s Day!” On lines with a popular tradition, a man is expected to pay a penalty, such as a gown or money, if he refuses a marriage proposal from a woman on Leap Day.

In many European countries, especially in the upper sections of the society, tradition dictates that any man who doesn’t honor a woman's proposal on February 29 has to buy her 12 pairs of gloves. The intention is that the woman can wear the gloves to hide the embarrassment of not having an engagement ring. Now, that makes us go, “Äwwww.”

St. Oswald’s World

St Oswald;s Day

The St Oswald’s day is celebrated in the memory of the late Archbishop of York, who died on the 29th of February 992. In non-leap years, this day is celebrated on 28th February.

Leap Year babies:

The children born on 9th February are considered to be lucky by some while others consider them to be unlucky; However, many folks take the Leap year, especially the leap day to be unfortunate for love and marriages and abstain themselves from the same.

So, here we go, folks! This was the extraordinary tale, better epic, about the leap year! Indeed, as we've seen; it holds quite a significant stature in history and in traditions and legends too. We think that this day must help you realize that life is short, and it does give you a complete extra day to make the most ou of it. Then what are we waiting for? Hiking this weekend, anyone