Why do we have Leap Years? Why does today, February 29th even exist? We seem to get along just fine between Leap Years, so why do we have to add an extra day to our calendar every 4 years? Great questions (if I don’t say so myself), I’m so glad you asked.
Leap Years are needed in order to keep our Gregorian calendar in alignment with the Earth’s revolutions around the sun. Remember back to our school days when we learned that the earth rotates on its own axis and while this is occurring, it is also circling around the Sun? Well, it takes the Earth approximately 365.242199 days to circle once around the Sun. The problem is the Gregorian calendar has only 365 days in a year. Therefore, if we did not add a day every 4 years, over the course of 100 years, 24 days would vanish.
Now if you’re like me (you should probably pray you are not) the idea of having 24 days vanish into thin air-never to return-has the makings of a great fiction book. But let’s look at this phenomenon from a more narcissistic perspective. What if one of those 24 days was YOUR birthday? Think of all the fun and gifts you would miss. Which reminds me, what about those people that are born on Leap Day? How do they celebrate their birthdays every year?
I say we allow those that are born on Leap Day to have two choices. First, they can choose to age at a four -year pace (another great concept for a novel) or they should get to celebrate their birthday twice a year on whichever ever dates they desire. This way they get to make up for the injustice of not having a “birth-day” that actually exists. To all my friends out there that were born on February 29th, allow me to be the first one to say, “Happy Birthday!” See you in four years…or…twice next year.