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Why the extra day?

Submitted by Taylor Hoffard on March 1, 2012 – 11:19 pm2 Comments

Every four years, we gain a day. We can thank the Gregorian calendar, and the Earth rotating around the sun for this extra 24 hours.

The Gregorian calendar is the standard calendar the world uses, according to infoplease.com. A common year has 365 days, while a leap year, or intercalary, has 366 days.

The Gregorian calendar is similar to the Julian calendar, which was created by Julius Caesar in 45 B.C., according to infoplease.com. The Julian calendar is a 12-month, 365-day calendar, but without the inclusion of the leap year, the Julian year ended up being too long. For this reason, our calendar is based on the Gregorian.

Infoplease.com says the reason why leap years occur every four years is to help keep the days in sync with the calendar year and solar year; the length it takes the Earth to rotate around the sun. A century cannot be a leap year unless it is divisible by 400; after this year, the next leap year won’t be until 2016.

If someone is born on leap year, some states require them to wait until March 1 to get a drivers license, considering March 1 the official day of their birth when it is not a leap year. Every state, however, has its own rules.

There are about 187,000 people in the U.S. and four million people in the world who were born on leap year, according to infoplease.com.

Leap year babies born in the year 1884 didn’t celebrate their birthday on their actual birthday until they turned 12 and not again until they were 20, according to itthing.com.

Astrologers firmly believe that anyone born on Feb. 29 has special talents, due to their date of birth, according to itthing.com. People born on this day are called leaplings, and the chances of someone being born on leap year is 1 in 1,461.

To celebrate this day, the city of Anthony, Texas hosts a festival every leap year with a carnival and hot air ballon rides.

Also to celebrate, Disney is hosting a “One More Disney Day,” this year. On leap day, Disneyland and Disneyworld will be open for 24 hours, starting at 6 a.m. according to onemoredisneyday. com. Along with this day, Disney is also having a sweepstakes that allows people to enter to win a vacation package for the day, which started Jan. 1. The company will be giving out these prizes once a day, every day, until Feb. 29.

 

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