Today is a leap day and in honor of that, here are 5 interesting and fun facts about a leap year.
1. “Every four years, an extra day is added to the calendar in order to synchronize it with the solar year. It takes the earth 365.242 days to orbit the Sun. For this reason, the full day is only added once every four years”.
2. “Christopher Columbus used the lunar eclipse of 29 February 1504 to his advantage during his final trip to the West Indies. After several months of being stranded with his crew on the island of Jamaica, relations with the indigenous population broke down and they refused to continue helping with food and provisions. Columbus, knowing a lunar eclipse was due, consulted his almanac and then gathered the native chiefs on 29 February. He told them that God would punish them by painting the Moon red. During the eclipse, he said that God would withdraw the punishment if they starting co-operating again. The panicked chiefs agreed and the Moon began emerging from its shadow”.
3. Today is also Bachelor’s Day the one day every four years where women can propose to their Men. “According to an old Irish legend, St Brigid 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 leap day balances the calendar”.
4. The Olympic Summer games and Paralympic Summer Games are held this leap year in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
5. In Jamaica and America, elections are held every 4 years and therefor coincide with leap years.