Lorea Thomson
Posted by Lorea Thomson
Updated on
Published in Boating


Why do we have a leap year every four years? A leap year is when an extra day is added to the end of February every four years. It all comes down to the solar system's discrepancy with the Gregorian calendar.

What do you do if you were born on February 29th.The chances of having a leap birthday are one in 1,461. It is suggested if you were born in the am, celebrate annually on February 28.  If you were born in the afternoon, celebrate on March 1.  However, if you are a true “leaper” you should only celebrate every four years, which at a certain age becomes very advantageous!

A complete orbit of the earth around the sun takes exactly 365.2422 days to complete, but the Gregorian calendar uses 365 days. So what to do but add 6 hours every year and by the fourth year you just add a day! Simple, right?

So why pick February for the additional day rather than any other month on the calendar?  Julius Caesar became emperor in the 1st Century and ordered his Alexandrian astronomer, Sosigenes, to devise something better than the existing Roman calendar. Sosigenes decided on a 365-day year with an extra day every four years to integrate the extra hours, and so February 29 was born. It turns out that all the other months in the Julian calendar have 30 or 31 days.  When Caesar Augustus became Emperor, he added two days to “his” month to make August have the same number of days as July. He was not about to Julius Caesar’s month, July, have more days than his month, August.  Hence, the month of February lost out to the month of August in the battle of the extra days.

 Take a leap Palm Beach County and enjoy the extra day!

Photo courtesy of Wikipedia.


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