Monday, February 29, 2016

NO, Leap Day Is NOT Every Four Years! Here's Why

So, that's the way it works, right?
It's every four years, correct?
You know what we're talking about. We're referring to Leap Day, the 29th of February which only appears on the calendar every four years -- like, 2000, 2004, 2008, 2012, 2016.
But, wait. This is not exactly right.
Because, did you know that there will be no Leap Day (no February 29) in 2100? And there will be none in 2200 or 2300 either. And there wasn't one in 1900 or 1800 or 1700.
That's right! No leap Day during those years, even though they were the fourth year in the cycle.
Because the Gregorian calendar, established by Pope Gregory calculated that if we had a Leap Day exactly every fourth year, we'd have too many Leap Days and we would get out of sync with the seasons which are, of course, related to the earth, the moon, the sun, etc.
So, on the century years that are not divisible by four, there is no February 29. Which means that Leap Year is every four years and every fourth century year.
Now, most of us will not be around for 2100 so this is not really a pressing concern.
But we just thought you'd like to know. OK?

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