Here are some fun facts about Leap Year and Leap Day to share with your children!
What is a Leap Year?
Every four years a day is added to the calendar. It happens in a leap year. Every four years there is a year with 366 days instead of the usual 365. The year 2012 is a leap year. Pretty cool, huh?
What is Leap Day?
During a Leap Year, an extra day is added to the month of February. So, every four years the month of February has 29 days instead of 28. February 29th is considered Leap Day.
Why does this all happen?
The calendar is supposed to match the solar year, which is the length of time it takes the Earth to orbit the Sun once. It takes the earth 365 days, 5 hours, 48 minutes and 46 seconds to complete it’s orbit. The extra 5 hours, 48 minutes and 46 seconds begin to add up and after 4 years the calendar is off by about 1 day. So in order to get everything lined up again, every 4 years an extra day is added to the month of February.
Who figured this all out?
The Egyptians were the first to think of adding a leap day every 4 years. This idea was later adapted by the Romans. In the year 46 B.C. the Roman emperor Julius Caesar added an extra day to February every four years, and the leap year was born.
What if someone is born on Leap Day?
If someone is born on Leap Day would they only be 2 years old instead of 8? The answer is no, because although their birth date may not be on the calendar each year, they are still getting older every year. Someone born on Leap Day still gets to have a party and celebrate their birthday. It may just have to be done on a different day during certain Non-Leap Years.
A Leap Year Rhyme
Thirty days hath September,
April, June, and November;
All the rest have thirty-one,
Excepting February alone,
And that has twenty-eight days clear,
And twenty-nine in each leap year.