Once every four years, an extra day is gifted to us. That extra day could be used for tackling that to-do list, seeing friends, or simply doing nothing. The point is, we get an extra day this month, so use it however you see fit. Whatever floats your boat, tickles your fancy, or makes you happy, take this extra day to do it. This year, February 29th lands on a Saturday, so it is a perfect day to take advantage of the extra 24 hours.
You may be sitting there rejoicing in the fact you have a whole extra day. And then you must ask yourself, “Why do we get this extra day?” That is a super question! Let’s delve into the reasons why we get this extra day.
A leap year, also known as intercalary year or bissextile year, is a year with an additional day to keep the calendar year synched with the astronomical or seasonal year. The addiction of the extra day also helps to correct a drift in timeline of events that happen every year on the same day. For example, in the Gregorian Calendar, each leap year has 366 days instead of 365 by extending February to 29 days, instead of 28. The extra day occurs every four years. In the Bahá’í Calendar, leap days are added as needed to ensure the following year begins on the vernal equinox.
The term “leap year” stems from the fact that while a fixed date in Gregorian calendar normally advances one day of the week from year to year, the day of the week in the 12 months following a leap day will advance each day by two. The day “leaps” over a day to occur on the day after it. For example, if a holiday occurred on a Tuesday in 2019, instead of it being on a Wednesday in 2020, it will be on a Thursday.
To sum it up, we have leap years to balance out our calendars with other calendar types to insure they all remain in-synch. No matter the reason, I think we all can agree that we will be taking full advantage of our Saturday leap day this month.