Friday, February 12, 2016

Leap Day February 29: by Darlene Beck Jacobson

2016 is not only the Year of the Monkey on the Chinese calendar, it is also the year we get an extra day.  February 29 was first introduced into the calendar by Julius Caesar over 2000 years ago.  Since then, customs and cultures have attempted to make the most of this once-every-four-years day.

IRISH legend has women proposing to men on February 29th.  A man is expected to pay a penalty -a gown or cash -  if he refuses the proposal.

The GUINNESS BOOK OF WORLD RECORDS has one family producing 3 consecutive generations born on 2-29.  GREEKS consider it unlucky to be born on this day. And - depending on what country you live in - those born on 2-29 on a non-leap year will celebrate their birthday either 2-28 or 3-1. (There really are laws about this in some countries!)

That brings me to February 30th.  Never heard of it?  It happened once in Sweden in 1712.  And, February 30 existed in the SOVIET UNION in 1930-31.  It was introduced there in a revolutionary calendar in 1929.   This calendar featured 5 day weeks and 30 day months for every working month. The remaining 5 or 6 days were "monthless holidays".  The calendar was intended to improve worker efficiency.  It failed because it was too hard for people to give up the popular Sunday rest day.  Still, it wasn't until 1940 that the original 7 day week was restored.

Now that you've had a "mini" lesson on LEAP DAY, how will you spend your extra day this year?

2 comments:

  1. Fun post Darlene! Loved reading about Leap Day :)

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    1. Thanks Kim. It was fun discovering the bits I knew nothing about. Enjoy your extra day!

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