366 days in 2020.
Leap Year happens every four years, adding an extra day to our calendar year in February. The reasoning behind this phenomenon is astronomical – as in the earth’s complete orbit around the sun takes an average of 365.25 days. Thus, to compensate for the extra ¼ of a day, an extra day was added to the year every fourth year, called “Leap Day.” 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.
But enough with the technical facts. Here are some fun facts from here and around the world!
- Leap Year is considered “bad luck” in multiple countries across the world. In fact, according to the Telegraph, a British news source, “One in five engaged couples in Greece will plan to avoid getting married in a leap year.”
- The odds of being born on leap day are 1 in 1,461
- You are called a “leapling” if you are born on February 29th.
- The only notable person known to have both been born and died on February 29 was Sir James Wilson (1812–1880), Premier of Tasmania.
- Karin Henriksen of Norway gave birth to three children on consecutive February 29ths – a daughter in 1960 and two sons in 1964 and 1968.
- In Hong Kong the legal birthday of a leapling is March 1 in common years, while in New Zealand it is February 28. If you timed it right, flying from one country to the other you could enjoy the world’s longest birthday.
- Anthony, Texas is the self-proclaimed “Leap Year Capital of the World”. It holds a festival which includes a guided trip to Aztec Cave, “fun at the horse farm” and square dancing.
- In Russia it is believed a leap year is likely to bring more freak weather patterns and a greater risk of death all round. Farming folklore says beans and peas planted in a leap year “grow the wrong way”.
- In Taiwan, married daughters traditionally return home during the leap month as it is believed the lunar month can bring bad health to parents. The daughters are told to bring pig trotter noodles to wish them good health and good fortune.
- 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)
- Gold was discovered in California (1848).
Thanks to Live the Journey for these awesome facts!