10 Random Facts About Leap Year

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A leap year is an interesting anomaly in our calendars. An extra day is added to February every four years to align the Earth’s rotation around the sun. This year, 2024, is also a leap year. Let’s share 10 random and interesting facts about leap year with you.

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Rare Birthdays

It is a common joke that people born in the leap years get to celebrate their birthdays every four years! That’s a long time to wait and makes it extra special. There is a 1 in 1,461 chance that someone will be born on 29 February, making it a rare day to be born on.

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Summer Olympics

The Summer Olympics, known in French as the Jeux olympiques d’été, is a major global international event. Interestingly, the Summer Olympics always take place during a leap year. There have ever been just two exceptions to this rule: the year 1900 and 2021.

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Leap Seconds

Just like a day is added to our calendar every four years, a second is added every year to the world’s timekeeping system to maintain precise time. They are added to the Coordinated Universal Time (UTC) and are necessary because of the gradual slowing down of the earth’s rotation.

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Julius Caesar

The Roman statesman and general, Gaius Julius Caesar, introduced the concept of adding an extra day to the Julian calendar around 45 BCE. He added the extra day to sync the human calendar to the solar year. Since then we have continued to follow the system across regions and cultures.

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Precise Calculation with Division

The mathematical principle to calculate leap years is simple. If any year is wholly divisible by 4, then it is a leap like, like year 2024. Additionally, for years wholly divisible by 100, they also need to be divisible by 400 to be counted as a leap year. This ensures precise calendar calculation.

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A lot of cultures follow myths and superstitions around the leap year. For example, the Scottish have a saying: “leap year was ne’er a good sheep year!” They believe that it is unlucky to be born on 29 February. Similarly, some cultures believe that people born on 29 February have special talents.

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Breaking Gender Norms

Proposals are usually considered to be the domain of a man. Not in Ireland though. The Irish have been challenging gender norms since the 5th century. They have a tradition dating back to the 5th century where women had the agency to propose to a man, particularly on 29 February, and during the leap year usually.

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Financial Reporting

Technology has simplified our accounting processes a lot. Before the Internet era, financial institutions and businesses had to proactively make adjustments to financial reporting to accommodate the extra day in February. It is automated these days but this had to be done manually in the past.

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Meaning Behind “Leap”

The reason why it is supposedly called a “leap” year has an interesting connection with frogs. It is believed that the word “leap” is inspired from the leaping movement of frogs. The frogs take giant leaps during the spring season, which is their breeding season. Interesting, isn’t it?!

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Legal Provisions

Special provisions are given in the legal framework to accommodate people born on 29 February. It can otherwise lead to legal complications such as determining the accurate age of retirement or calculating when someone becomes legally eligible to drink, and so on. Certain legal adjustments are made to accommodate age-related matters.


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