Wednesday, February 29, 2012


Leap Years are needed to keep our calendar in alignment with the Earth's revolutions around the sun. It takes the Earth approximately 365.242199 days – or 365 days, 5 hours, 48 minutes, and 46 seconds (a tropical year) – to circle once around the Sun.

However, the Gregorian calendar has only 365 days in a year; if a day weren't added nearly every 4 years, six hours would be lost from our calendar every year. After 100years, our calendar would be off by approximately 24 days!

One Leap Year tradition, according to an old Irish legend, or possibly history, Saint Bridget struck a deal with Saint Patrick to allow women to propose to men – and not just the other way around – every 4 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.

Mary Ann Brown, born February 29, 1932, is the founder of the Worldwide Leap Year Festival, held every fourth year since 1988 in Anthony, Texas. Mary Ann is going to celebrate her 20th birthday, but she's going to be 80 years old!

American singer and actress Dinah Shore was a Leap Year gal, born in 1916, and died in 1994.

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