Four More Years!
Happy leap year! Those of you born on this day finally get to celebrate your birthday, Happy Birthday! Yes, it just happens every four years – and the year can always be evenly divided by four. This, being an even year has 366 days. It is also known as an ‘intercalary year’ or ‘bissextile year.’ In reality, the leap year was added to keep the calendar year synchronized with the astronomical or seasonal year. It is the amount of time it takes the earth to complete its orbit around the sun which is about 365 1/4 days. So, the 1/4 of a year adds up to one full year after four orbits.
It Becomes More Complicated
Although the orbit happens after 365 1/4 days, it is a little more complicated when the professionals require more refinement. The 1/4 of a day actually breaks down to 5 hours, 48 minutes, and 46 seconds. That difference in time amounts to 11 minutes and 14 seconds. Over a period of time, that would also cause an issue with our calendar. So, to solve this particular issue, those men and women with the big brains determined that we do not add a leap year in the years which are divisible by 100 but not by 400. So, 2000 is divisible by 100 so it is a leap year. However, 1700, 1800, and 1900 were not. The next time this happens will be in 2100.
How Did This All Come About?
Throughout time different cultures dealt with the ‘time’ situation in different ways. It was very important because, if they did not, their planting schedules for crops would have been thrown off-kilter. They might have prepared for Christmas during the hottest season of the year. Or, heaven forbid, the groundhog might have come out during the hottest day of the year. So, to solve the problem, some cultures would throw in an extra week, or even a month, when it was needed. It was Julius Caesar, in 46 B.C., who determined it was necessary to add a day to the calendar every four years.
So, enjoy today – it won’t happen for another four years!