Have you ever wondered where leap years come from? Where do they get those extra hours that add up to a whole day? And what if you’re born on a leap day?
A year is the period of time it takes the Earth to make a full circle around the Sun. The most accurate calculations say that our planet finishes its rotation after 365 days, 5 hours, and 48 minutes. Each year, 5 hours and 48 minutes are uncounted, and when 4 years pass, these hours and minutes add up to an extra day. But the calculations weren’t always so exact.
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How the leap day was initially introduced 0:47
Why the leap day was added to the end of February 1:27
Why astronomers cut down the number of leap years 2:08
Why do they call it “leap” in English? 2:58
Famous people who were born on a leap day 3:29
Consolations for the Unfortunates Born on the 29th of February 4:04
Rituals and traditions linked with the leap year 5:30
#leapyear #astronomy #brightside
– During the reign of Julius Caesar, the Roman calendar consisted of only 355 days. Every 2 years they would add an extra month of 22 days to it.
– The year with an extra day was called “Bis Sextus” which means “the second sixth” in Latin.
– In ancient Rome, they celebrated the New year on March 1, which is why they added the leap day to the end of February.
– Astronomers noticed that the spring equinox happened much earlier than March 21 – the date put in the calendar.
– Clearly it was necessary to correct the Julian calendar, and in 1582, Pope Gregory XIII did so by having astronomers cut down the number of leap years.
– If you happened to be born on a leap day, you overcame the odds of 1 in 1461.
– In the 18th century, a famous German moralist wrote an essay called “Consolations for the Unfortunates Born on the 29th of February”. He suggested a detailed scheme of how they should celebrate their birthday each year.
– In the 19th century, an interesting marriage tradition became popular. Usually, men had to kneel down on one knee to propose to a woman. But in a leap year, women could propose to men.
– Leap years were also chosen to hold one of the main global sports events – the Olympic games.
– If you get a fixed salary each year, you’ll get stiffed in a leap year. You just have to work one day for free!
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