Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Leap Year Fun and Trivia

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.

When I was in grammar school, I had a classmate who was born on February 29th.  I was always so jealous of him because most years he celebrated two birthdays--one on February 28th and the other on March 1st.  At least, that is what he told us, but funny thing, none of us kids were ever invited to his February 28th party.  

A Leap Year (or intercalary year) is a year containing one extra day in order to keep the calendar year synchronized with the astronomical or solar year, the length of time it takes the earth to complete its orbit about the sun, which is about 365 1/4 days. A year will be a leap year if it is divisible by 4 but not by 100. If a year is divisible by 4 and by 100, it is not a leap year unless it is also divisible by 400. 

A person who was born on February may be called a 'leapling'. In non-leap years they usually celebrate their birthday on  February 28th or March 1st. 

Go to an old deserted house at midnight on the last day of February in leap year. Walk around the house scattering hemp seed. On the fourth round you will see your future husband or wife; but if you see a coffin, you are never to marry. 

It is believed that anything new begun in a leap year will have a great chance for success. 

In some mysterious way it is said, the whole vegetable world is affected by the influences of leap-year. The peas and beans grow the wrong way in their pods and seeds are set in quite the contrary way to what they are in other years. 

In America as well as in England leap-year is considered the one year when the maidens have the privilege to propose to young men. Isome places, Leap Day has been known as 'Bachelors’ Day. A man was expected to pay a penalty, such as a gown or money, if he refused a marriage proposal from a woman on Leap Day.

According to an old Irish legend, St. Bridget 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 the leap day balances the calendar.

Salaried employees are working for free today. Seems that paychecks are based on a 365 day year.  Guess I maybe I should have requested the day off.

Happy Leap Year!!!


  1. What great lore you found about Leap Day/Year! So much I didn't know. I hadn't thought about people working on salary - it would be a good time to use a 'sick' day!

    Have a great Leap Day!

  2. Love the one about the veggies getting all mixed up, in a Leap Year!

    And walking around a deserted house at midnight, to tell if you would marry. ,-)

    "The most serious charge which can be brought against New England is not Puritanism
    but February."

    ~Joseph Wood Krutch

  3. Doing a blog catch up. I'll come by again and read some back posts. Hope all is well in your new home:)