Fun Leap Day Facts

keyboard-621830_1280Adding a day to the calendar every four years keeps it in sync with the solar calendar, measuring the Earth’s trip around the sun.

Number of people born on Leap Day: 4,791,239

Number of people born in the U.S. on Leap Day: 10,800

You are working for free if you’re on a fixed annual wage.
Leap Years only occur in years that show January 1st landing on one day of the week and December 31 on the following day of the week.
The Romans first designated February 29 as leap day, but a more precise formula (still in use today) was adopted in the 16th century when the Gregorian calendar fine-tuned the calculations to include a leap day in years only divisible by four –  2016, 2020, 2024, etc.

As the story goes, the tradition of women romantically pursuing men in leap years began in 5th century Ireland, when St. Bridget complained to St. Patrick about the fair sex having to wait for men to propose. Patrick finally relented and set February 29 aside as the day set aside allowing women the right to ask for a man’s hand in marriage.

The tradition continued in Scotland, when Queen Margaret declared in 1288 that on February 29 a woman had the right to pop the question to any man she fancied. Menfolk who refused were faced with a fine in the form of a kiss, a silk dress, or a pair of gloves given to the rejected lady fair.

A similar modern American tradition, Sadie Hawkins Day, honors “the homeliest gal in the hills” created by Al Capp in the cartoon strip Li’l Abner. In the famous story line, Sadie and every other woman in town were allowed on that day to pursue and catch the most eligible bachelors in Dogpatch. Although the comic strip placed Sadie Hawkins Day in November, today it has become almost synonymous with February 29.

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