Get a Life

By Judith Welles

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Get a Life: Leap Day!

It’s February 29 and I can’t resist. Today is the leap day of leap year 2008. This extra day in February occurs only every four years, and it has the reputation of being the day when a woman may ask a man to marry her. On the other hand, some who are superstitious try not to be married on a leap year day because , technically, when would the anniversary be observed in those other years? 

Those born on a Feb,29 often rue their birthday, unless parents look kindly upon them as children and allow birthday parties (and presents) a day earlier or later.  One town in Texas holds a party every four years for “leap year babies” and there may be similar festivities elsewhere.
History buffs (and Google) tell us that Julius Caesar proclaimed the last day of February as leap year in 45 B.C. The calendar changed a bit back then, but finally, over the years, settled on Feb. 29 to keep to 365 days. 

One factoid I learned is that although years evenly divided by four are leap years, there are exceptions. Not every century year can be a leap year unless it is divisible by 400, such as 1600 and 2000, but not 1700 and 2100.   

I met my husband on a leap year day years ago and, in addition to our wedding anniversary, we have the tradition every four years of celebrating the date we met. So we are doing a little of that celebrating tonight.

If anyone has a leap day birthday or anniversary, how do you observe it? Any effects of leap year on a government activity?     

Posted by Judith Welles on Feb 28, 2008 at 12:13 PM


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