February 2020 is rolling along here at The Storage Inn in Egg Harbor Township, New Jersey, but the cold weather does not seem to have slowed down our self-storage customers at all! Our storage rental facility is bustling with self-storage customers!
Yesterday, a nice young man was renting one of our storage units, he commented on how busy we are.
“ It’s like this 365 days a year” I replied.
“366 days this year” replied Jake, our new tenant.
“Ahhhh – right. It’s a leap year” I mused, as Jake and I finished his paperwork for our Free Moving Truck Rental program. This made me wonder… what is Leap Year, and why do we do it?
Why do we have one extra day at the end of February every four years?
Here are some fun facts about a leap year and leap days….
Why add a leap day?
Feb. 29 is leap day; the day inserted into the calendar every four years to keep our calendar operating smoothly. This extra day makes the year 366 days long, instead of 365 days like regular years. Leap days are needed to keep our calendar in alignment with the Earth’s revolutions around the Sun. We use “leap year” because each date on the calendar jumps ahead two days of the week instead of one.
It takes the Earth approximately 365.242189 days – or 365 days, 5 hours, 48 minutes, and 45 seconds – to circle once around the Sun. This is called a tropical year. Without an extra day on February 29 nearly every four years, we would lose almost six hours every year. After only 100 years, our calendar would be off by approximately 24 days.
All Hail Caesar
Julius Caesar introduced the first leap year around 46 B.C., but his Julian calendar had only one rule: Any year evenly divisible by four would be a leap year. That created too many leap years. (Pope Gregory XIII introduced his Gregorian calendar more than 1,500 years later which helped to fix this issue.)
Leap Year Calculations
There’s a leap year every year that is divisible by the number 4, except for years that are both divisible by 100 and not divisible by 400. The year 2000 was a leap year, but the years 1700, 1800 and 1900 were not. The added rule about centuries (versus just every four years) was an additional fix to make up for the fact that an extra day every 4 years is too much of a correction.
Leap Months in other countries
A whole leap month is added to the Chinese calendar every three years. The leap month’s place in the Chinese calendar varies from year to year, and 2015 was a leap year in the Chinese calendar.
A leap year in the Ethiopian calendar occurs when an extra day is added to the last month of the year every four years.
Leap Year Traditions
It’s acceptable for a woman to propose to a man on Feb. 29. The custom has been attributed to St. Bridget, who is said to have complained to St.
Patrick about women having to wait for men to propose marriage. Patrick supposedly gave women one day to propose.
Leap Year Babies
People born on leap day are often called “leaplings” or “leapers.” Most of them celebrate their birthday on Feb. 28 or March 1 on non-leap years.
Leap Year Capital
The twin cities of Anthony, Texas, and Anthony, New Mexico, are the self-proclaimed Leap Year Capital of the World. They hold a four-day leap year festival each leap year that includes a huge birthday party for all leap year babies.
If you were born on leap day, you share a birthday with composer Gioacchino Rossini, motivational speaker Tony Robbins, jazz musician Jimmy Dorsey, actors Dennis Farina and Antonio Sabato Jr., and rapper/actor Ja Rule.
There’s a Leap year club
The Honor Society of Leap Year Babies is a club for people born on Feb. 29. More than 10,000 people worldwide are members.
Leap Year The Movie
Amy Adams and Matthew Goode starred in the 2010 romcom “Leap Year.”
It’s about a woman who travels to Ireland to ask her boyfriend to accept her wedding proposal on leap day, when tradition says that men cannot refuse a woman’s marriage proposal.
Leap Years in History
During leap years, George Armstrong Custer fought the Battle of the Little Bighorn (1876), the Titanic sank (1912), Benjamin Franklin proved that lightning is electricity (1752) and gold was discovered in California (1848).
Well, now we know a little bit about leap year, why we have it, and where it came from. So, if you’re turning 40 this year the staff here at The Storage Inn would like to wish you a Happy 10th Birthday!