I am dedicating this week's Whimsical Wednesday to the last day of this month, being as it is the extra day this Leap Year.
- Why do we need that extra day once every four years? Leap Years are needed in order to keep our calendar in alignment with the Earth's revolutions around the sun.
- Did you know that if we did not have this extra day every four years, we would lose almost six hours from our calendar every year. That means that after only 100 years, our calendar would be off by about 24 days!!!
Leap Years were introduced by Julius Caesar in the Roman Empire over 2000 years ago. There was only one rule for the Julian calendar which was that every year that is evenly divisible by 4 was a leap year. However that led to too many leap years! This only got corrected with the introduction of the *Gregorian Calendar more than 1500 years later.
How does the Gregorian Calendar work?
A year divisible by four is a leap year, except if it is also divisible by 100, but years divisible by 400 are also leap years. So 1996 was a leap year because it is divisible by four, 2000 was a leap year because it is divisible by 400, but 1900 is not a leap year because it is not divisible by 400. Now if that is confusing, not to worry, we will still be getting that extra day every four years!
It has been worked out that the *Gregorian Calendar is off by about 1 day in 3236 years. I guess none of us will be around to see the next Calendar adjustment!
I don't know about you but I need all the extra days I can get : )
So in the meantime let's enjoy that extra day every four years ☺
Happy Leap Year Day to you all and
especially to all who are celebrating
their Birthday today!
*The Gregorian Calendar was named after the person who first introduced it - Pope Gregory XIII in February 1582. It is also known as the Western Calendar or the Christian Calendar.
Graphics from shared files