This week marks a day that only happens once every four years. No, I'm not talking about an impending election or the Olympics, today we're going to talk about leap day.

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The origins of leap days and years go back to ancient times. They were seen as necessary to mark the change in seasons. The extra added day is in place to align the calendar with the seasons. A leap year must be divisible by 400.

According to the Economic Times: “The Earth takes approximately 365.2422 days to complete one orbit around the sun, which is slightly longer than 365 days. Without leap years, our calendar would gradually fall out of alignment with the seasons.”

Cultures around the globe have different attitudes towards leap day. Greek and Ukrainian folklore dictates that getting married on February 29th is a bad idea, and the marriage will be destined for divorce.

In Ireland and Scotland the story is much different. On February 29th, men are excused from proposing marriage. Legend states that Saint Bridget talked Saint Patrick into the idea that women should be the ones doing the proposing. When the tradition was introduced to Scotland, men who didn't accept a proposal would face a fine.

A law was actually passed by Queen Margaret of Scotland that says any man that rejects a leap day marriage proposal would be fined somewhere between one pound and a silk gown.

Also in Scotland, people who were born on February 29th are thought to be unlucky, and are called "leaplings." These babies are predicted to have a year of total suffering during leap years. Oof.

Of course in the United States, leaplings are celebrated. There's even a four day festival in Anthony, Texas in their honor around this time of year.

Happy leap day and year, may it be a positive one!

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