A leap year is a calendar year that contains an additional day as compared to a common year. The 366th day (or 13th month) is added to keep the calendar year synchronized with the astronomical year or seasonal year. An astronomical year lasts slightly less than 3651/4 days. The historic Julian calendar has three common years of 365 days followed by a leap year of 366 days, by extending February to 29 days rather than the common 28 days. Leap Year 2024 Funny Memes and Motivational Posts Go Viral in Equal Measure, Netizens Seem Ready for 366 Days Full of Opportunities!

Here are some interesting facts about leap years and February month:

  1. Leap years are added to keep the calendar year synchronized with the astronomical year. Without the addition of an extra day every four years, the calendar would fall out of sync with the Earth's revolutions around the sun.
  2. Julius Caesar introduced the first calendar leap year in 46 B.C. as part of the Julian calendar reform.
  3. Leap years have 366 days instead of the usual 365. The extra day is added to the end of February, making February 29 the day of the month.
  4. People born on February 29 are often referred to as ‘leap day babies’ or ‘leaplings’.
  5. Since February 29 occurs only once every four years, leap day babies typically celebrate their birthdays on February 28 or March 1 in non-leap years.
  6. Years ending in ‘00’ are not leap years unless they are divisible by 400. For example, the years 1700, 1800, and 1900 were not leap years, but the year 2000 was a leap year.
  7. Some cultures consider February 29 an unlucky day. In some countries like Greece, wedding plans are usually avoided during leap years.

The Gregorian calendar, the world's most widely used civil calendar, makes a further adjustment for the small error in the Julian algorithm. Each leap year has 366 days instead of 365. This extra leap day occurs in each year that is a multiple of 4. This means, in the Gregorian calendar, almost every fourth year is a leap year. Each leap year, the month of February has 29 days instead of 28. Adding one extra day in the calendar every four years compensates for the fact that a period of 365 days is shorter than a tropical year by almost 6 hours.

(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on Feb 02, 2024 11:07 AM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website latestly.com).