Sometimes it’s nice to just let your hair down and have some fun. That’s why in honour of the leap year, we’ve decided to list six of the craziest facts about this unusual day. So sit back, relax, and enjoy!
#6 – Role Reversal
One of the most popular ideas about February 29th is that women can propose to men on this day! This tradition is thought to date back to 5th century Ireland, although many historians believe it didn’t come about until the 19th century. Men who refuse a woman’s advances on this day are supposed to pay a small fine, such as a kiss, a silk dress, or a pair of gloves.
#5 – My Big, Fat, Non-Wedding
Greeks take the leap year very seriously, as leap years are viewed as bad luck in Greek culture. This idea is so pervasive that the Mirror.co.uk reported that “…one in five engaged couples in Greece void getting married in a leap year because they believe its bad luck.”
#4 – All Work and No Pay
Are you on a fixed annual or monthly salary? Well we’ve got some bad news for you: most workers essentially work for free on February 29th as their wages aren’t calculated to account for the extra day. Rest assured though, most employers make alternative arrangements to account for this.
#3 – Born a Leaper
Babies born on February 29th are often referred to as “leapers” or “leaplings”. The chances of a baby being born on a leap year is about one in 1,461. At the moment, there are an estimated five million “leapers” around the world (who typical celebrate their birthdays on Feb 28th or March 1st).
#2 – Leap Month?
In the traditional Chinese calendar, as well as the Hebrew and Hindu calendar, there is an entire “leap month”! Known as an ‘embolismic month’, this additional month is considered bad luck. Children born during this month are thought to be harder to raise, and it is considered wise to delay opening your business until after this leap month.
#1 – The Purpose
Surprisingly, many people aren’t aware of the purpose that February 29th selves. The Earth doesn’t orbit the sun in a perfect 365 days, instead it takes about 365 days and 6 hours. To account for this extra time, an extra day is added to the year every four years!
So those are our six craziest facts about the leap year, we hope you had fun! Feel free to share any other leap-year facts or stories you may have in the comments below!