Friday, February 29, 2008

Leap Year!

Today is Parker's first Leap Day. Today is my 7th.

A leap year is a year in which one extra day has been inserted, or intercalated, at the end of February. A leap year consists of 366 days, whereas other years, called common years, have 365 days.

The year 2008 is a leap year. If you look at a 2008 calendar, you will see that February has five Fridays–the month begins and ends on a Friday. Between the years 1904 and 2096, leap years that share the same day of week for each date repeat only every 28 years. The most recent year in which February comprised five Fridays was in 1980, and the next occurrence will be in 2036. February 29, the leap day, has been associated with age-old traditions, superstitions and folklore.

Leap years are needed to keep our calendar in alignment with the earth's revolutions around the sun.

A tradition was introduced many centuries ago to allow women to propose to men during a leap year. This privilege of proposing was restricted to leap day in some areas. Leap day was sometimes known as “Bachelors’ Day”. A man was expected to pay a penalty, such as a gown or money, if he refused a marriage offer from a woman.
The tradition’s origin stemmed from an old Irish tale referring to St Bridget striking a deal with St Patrick to allow women to propose to men every four years. This old custom was probably made to balance the traditional roles of men and women in a similar way to how the leap day balances the calendar.
It was also considered to be unlucky for someone to be born on a leap day in Scotland and for couples to marry on a leap year, including on a leap day, in Greece.


The Jordan's said...

Wow! I learned something today just from reading your blog!

parker's granny said...

I did not know this was going to be an educational blog! You must have a teaching gene.

Lisa said...

That sounds like something you learned from your dad....or my dad.....hmmmmm....I'm not really sure.

What The Hell Is This? said...

You know.. J's great grandmother was born on leap year.. unlucky huh.. she said that she turned 23 this year... Hell, if I live to be 92, I wouldn't say it was unlucky.