Do you remember when you were first told about 29th February?
Many of us would have received this fascinating bit of information whilst sitting on an itchy carpet, cross-legged in a small classroom waiting for storytime. You learned about Leap Day. A mysterious day that suddenly appears and then is lost for the next 4 years. If you’re born on 29th February then that is it; you age a lot slower than everyone else and don’t have as many birthdays!
Of course, that is nonsense. We all know that those born on 29th February celebrate their birthdays the day before or after, if they choose to!
Leap Day is a rare and special day that has its place in both science and myth. It has the capability to capture the imaginations of all and holds a certain anticipation and excitement in its experience…
Leap Day is an extra day that is added to the Calendar every four years. The reason this is done is as follows; The Calendar year has 365 days. This almost matches the Solar year (the amount of time it takes for the Earth to travel around the Sun), which is 365 ¼. This means that a ¼ day is left over. We wait 4 years to collect these extra 1/4s until we have one day, which we throw into February as it has the least amount of days compared to other months!
According to tradition, Leap Day is the only day where a woman can propose to a man. It is thought to date back to 5th Century Ireland when St.Bridget complained to St.Patrick that is was taking too long for admirers to propose! St.Patrick retaliated by giving women a single day in a leap year to propose. Upon hearing this, it is said that St.Bridget immediately dropped down on one knee and proposed. St.Patrick refused, but gave her a silk gown as a peace offering. From then on, if a man refused a woman’s proposal on a leap day, he would be obliged to purchase her a silk dress or a pair of fine gloves!
Fun Leap Day Crafts:
Now that we know a little more about Leap Day, let’s get down to some fun!
Happy Leap Day!