If you ask me, which is the most unfamiliar date in the calendar ? It’s 29th Feb, I shall reply. The day which comes each 4 years is certainly the most interesting date. Unless you know that even 30th Feb also exists!
A leap year, where an extra day is added to the end of February every four years, is down to the solar system’s inequality with the Gregorian calendar. A complete orbit of the earth around the sun takes exactly 365.2422 days to complete, but the Gregorian calendar uses 365 days. So leap years – are added as means of keeping our clocks (and calendars) in sync with the Earth and its seasons.
This much we all know, but here we have mentioned just 5 unknown facts about 29th Feb. Some interesting facts about leap year, leap month, leaplings and leap second. Whattt? You didn’t get ‘leap second’? Huh, I told you don’t know much about 29th Feb.
5. There is a Leap Year Capital Of The World
In 1988, two local leaplings approached their local Chamber of Commerce in Anthony, Texas about a possible festival for those born on leap day, as they only get to celebrate their actual birthdays every four years.
From 1988 to 2011, the Leap Year Festival took place, celebrated with hot air balloon rides and parades. Participants range from babies to their oldest registered leapling, a 104-year-old mother. The Governors of both Texas and New Mexico declared Anthony the “Leap Year Capital of the World,” and the rest is history.
4. Keogh family | Generations of Leap Year
The only verified example of a family producing three consecutive
generations born on February 29 (Leap Day) is that of the Keogh’s.
Peter Anthony (Ireland, b.1940), his son Peter Eric (UK, b. 1964)
and his grand-daughter Bethany Wealth (UK, b. 1996) all celebrate
their birthdays infrequently (every four years).
Here are a total of 1,461 days are in each four-year period, so the
probability that a person is born on February 29 is 1 in 1,461. But,
it’s not quite this simple.
If a year is divisible by 100 then it is a leap year only if it is also
divisible by 400, so between the years 2097 and 2103, your chance
of being born on Leap Day is zero.
3. Why ‘February’ was dwarfed?
All the other months have 30 or 31 days, but February suffered from the ego of Roman Emperor Caesar Augustus, says Stewart. Under Julius Caesar, February had 30 days, but when Caesar Augustus was emperor he was peeved that his month – August – had only 29 days, whereas the month named after his predecessor Julius – July – had 31. “He pinched a couple of days for August to make it the same as July. And it was poor old February that lost out,” says Prof Stewart.
2. What is ‘Leap second’ ?
Leap years are not directly connected to leap seconds, but both are for the purpose of keeping the earth’s rotations in line with our clocks and calendars. Leap seconds are added to bring the earth’s rotation into line with atomic time. A leap second was added at the end of June last year (2015) , when immediately before midnight dials read 11:59:60.
Atomic time is constant, but the Earth’s rotation is gradually slowing down by around two thousandths of a second per day.
The extra second can sometimes cause problems for some networks which rely on exact timings. When a last leap second was added in 2012 Mozilla, Reddit, Foursquare, Yelp, LinkedIn, and StumbleUpon all reported crashes.
1. Columbus tricked and painted the moon red!
Explorer 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 that God was to 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.
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And lastly, you know what is the official food for leap year day ? Its Frog’s Leg!