Leap Year: Why 2019 has a Day More than Normal?

Leap Day 2020
Google's Doodle on Leap Year 2020. GIF Credit: google.

Why there are leap years like 2019, in which February has one more day. You will have already realized that in 2019 you will have one more day than last year to enjoy the activities that you like the most. February will have 29 days, and the whole year 366. 

Maybe you know we have a leap year every four years, but … Do you know what the reason is? Then you will know it. 

Why Do Every 4 Years February have 29 Days?

The calendar was not always as we know it. The division of each year into 12 months of 30 or 31 days which is called “Gregorian calendar”. It began to be used in 1582 in Europe promoted by Pope Gregory. Then it accepted practically in the whole world. The objective of this calendar was for the months to coincide with the lunar cycles and with the seasons.

But at the time of accepting this system, it was noted that it had a slight problem. A year should represent the time it takes for the Earth to go around the sun. But it does not take 365 or 366 days, but 365 days, 5 hours, 48 ​​minutes and 45.25 seconds. 

On February 29, it is added, every four years to correct the gap between the calendar year and the real year. Keeping both synchronized is necessary for the stations to always start and end on the same date.

However, things do not end there, because if every four years there was always a leap year, in the long run, “there would be plenty of hours.”

The solution is to “ignore” leap years when the year he touches ends at 00 (such as 1800 or 1800), unless this year is divisible by 400 (like 2000, which has been leap year).

In this way, the hours are quite well adjusted to the solar year. With a margin of error of only 26 seconds per year of error which would take 3323 years to add a whole day of error.

You may wonder why the extra day is added in February, and not at the end of the year. The answer is simple. Because it is the shortest month. The reason why this month lasts less than the others is not clear. But it may have to do with January and February were months that were added to the calendar after the others. Since the Roman calendar, which gave rise to ours the winter months, in which nothing could be harvested were not counted.

5 Interests about Leap Years

-In England, I used to get practice to the fact that on February 29, women asked men to marry. In times when tradition established that men should make the decision. It was very revolutionary to allow February 29 exceptional days. It could be the other way around. Therefore, if the man said “no” he should pay compensation to the bride for the social shame that made him suffer.

– In Sweden, it existed on February 30, since in the year 1700 they wanted to move from the Julian calendar to the Gregorian, and had to add a few days to catch up. 

– There are families in which strangely many of its members are born on February 29. The Keogh family has a grandfather who was born on February 29, 1940, a son on February 29, 1964, and a granddaughter on February 29, 1996. A Norwegian woman also gave birth three times during leap days in 1960, 1964 and 1968. 

– In Greece, getting married during any leap year date is considered bad luck. 

– February 29 is the day of rare diseases. Since these years are rare, they were chosen to raise awareness about diseases that affect very low percentages of the population.

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