Leap Year: Superstitions & Oddities About February 29

The year 2012 is a leap year because it has a leap day which is the 29th of February. And if there are superstitions and odd facts about any common day, you could safely say there must be several for such an unusual day.

But before that, you might wonder why the ancients created a leap day and thus a leap year. Well, looks like the old calendar system gradually got off time and thus the months drift away from the right seasons associated with it. Several attempts at correcting this occurred until finally in 1582, they finally seemed to get it right.

But then again, judging from the way the seasons’ seeming to be off time again at our present time, looks like we might be on for another resetting.

Alright, back to the task at hand. One such oddity is something possibly cool (or scary) for men in that the leap day is supposed to be “Bachelors’ Day”. It is the day when women, this time, does the proposing for marriage, instead of the usual way around. For men who are looking for marriage, this could be cool, but for those who are not into it (yet), be ready to pay a penalty for turning a woman’s proposal down.

Supertitions Related to Leap Day/Year

  • Bad Luck?

    Just as the number 13, or Friday the 13th, is superstitiously considered bad luck by many, so is the leap day. Thus, folks in Scotland and Greece treat this day like the plague, especially when it comes to being born on that day, or to marry on that day, or do just about anything.

  • Good Luck!

    Apparently, if you’re not from Scotland or Greece, then the leap day is the best day for starting some important undertaking or business venture. That also includes good fortune for those who are born on a leap day.

    A leap day proved to be good for Christopher Columbus back in 1504 when he was marooned in Jamaica. The Jamaicans got tired of offering him food (and women?), but he got them to treat him good again after scaring them that God will darken the skies if they don’t treat him like a King. Of course, Columbus knew there’s going to be a lunar eclipse that leap night. Long story short, before the lunar eclipse ended a few minutes later, the natives were awed and thus pampered him again.

    I guess it would also turn out to be good for men to insist on setting a wedding on a leap day. This way, you need only spend for wedding anniversaries every 4 years.

There you go. There are only 2 important factors to supertitions after all. Some thing or some day is either lucky or unlucky, right?

Some Facts & Oddities Related to Leap Day/Year

  • Leap Sundays 28 Years Apart
    Sundays that fall on the 29th of February happens only every 28 years. The last one was in 2004, the next would be in 2032.
  • Born/Died on a Leap Day
    There might be several others but only one notable person was born on a leap day and died on another leap day 68 years later- Sir James Wilson, Premier of Tasmania.
  • Chinese Leap Years Occur Every 3 Years
    Every 3 years, the Chinese year consists of 13 months. Thus, unlike our leap year which has a leap day, the Chinese leap year has a leap month.
  • Presidents born on a Leap Day
    Born on February 29, 1924 – Carlos Humberto Romero, President of El Salvador
  • Presidents who died on a Leap Day
    Died: February 29, 1944 – Pehr Evind Svinhufvud, President of Finland (born 1861)
    Died: February 29, 1956 – Elpidio Quirino, President of the Philippines (born 1890)
  • Every 4000 years, February only has 27 Days
    Ok. That’s just a suggestion. With the current Gregorian calendar, we now have 365.2425 days per year. But according to the Royal Greenwich Observatory, it should only be 365.24219 days. Thus, every 4000 years, we are off by 1 day. To make up for this, February should have only 27 days once every 4000 years.

That would be all for now folks.

1 comment

  1. Interesting findings about Leap year, never new these facts associated with Leap year. What I knew was that, someone born on leap day may be called a Leapling and they usually celebrate their birthdays on Feb. 28 or March 1 in common years.
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