Leap Year

What exactly is a leap year and why do we have one? A leap year happens every four years, and during that year we have 366 days instead of the normal 365 days. During leap year a day in February is added to make 29 days in February instead of the normal 28.

Leap year has a very important job in the year cycle. It’s job is to balance the calendar with the solar year. The calendar we use today is the Gregorian calendar. This calendar only has 365 days on a regular year. For the Earth’s revolution it takes about 365 days, 5 hours, 48 minutes, and 46 seconds which is about 365 1/4 days. This is why leap year comes in handy every four years that 1/4 of a day adds up to approximately 1 day.

Leap year keeps us on track. If we didn’t have leap year then the 5 hours, 48 minutes, and 46 seconds would add up and after about 100 years our calendar would be off by about 24 days. Which is what happened with the Julian calendar. The Julian calendar is the calendar that was used before the Gregorian calendar was introduced. The leap year was introduced by Roman general Julius Caesar around 2000 years ago. When the Julian calendar was introduced it had only one rule which was: any year evenly divisible by 4 would be a leap year. This caused way too many leap years, and wasn’t corrected until the Gregorian calendar.

Do you know anyone who was born on February 29th?  Many people celebrate their birthday on the 28th for three years and then on the 29th every fourth year.

John Gillen

Photo Gallery Manager

John Gillen

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Photo Gallery Manager

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