February 29th is a leap day, which occurs every 4 years. However, what is a leap year and why do we have them? We use leap years to keep our calendar in sync with the seasons. They are years where an extra day is added to the end of the shortest month, ie. February, making it 366 days in the year instead of the usual 365 days.
Leap days help keep our modern day Gregorian calendar in alignment with the Earth's revolution around the Sun. If a leap day wasn't added on February 29th almost every four years, each calendar year would begin approximately 6 hours before the Earth completes its cycle around the Sun. The leap day fixes that error by giving the Earth the additional time it needs to complete the full cycle.
With a leap day in sight, here are some fun facts and traditions that are notable:
1. 1 in 5 engaged couples in Greece avoid getting married in a leap year as they believe it is bad luck.
2. People born on February 29th are called "leaplings" or "leapers."
3. Astrologers believe people born on February 29th have unusual talents, such as the ability to burp the alphabet or paint like Picasso.
4. According to a European tradition, if a man refuses a proposal from a woman on leap day, he is obligated to buy the woman a gift.
5. According to the Honor Society of Leap Year Day Babies there are approximately 4 million leap year babies out in the world.
6. There is a 1 in 1,461 change of being a leap day baby.
7. Julius Caesar introduced the first leap year around 46 B.C.
8. The twin cities of Anthony, Texas and Anthony, New Mexico, are the self-proclaimed Leap Year Capital of the World. They even hold a four day leap day festival!
9. Some famous people born on leap day include Ja Rule, Anthonio Sabato Jr., Dinah Shore, Jimmy Dorsey and Gioacchino Rossini.
10. When February 29th is entered on a majority of websites it comes up as an invalid birth date.
11. Subzero temperatures have been reported in 33 U.S. states on leap days.
12. The coldest Leap Days were in 1960 and 1996.
13. Bitter cold, heavy rain to heavy snow outbreaks have all occurred on Leap Day.
As weather is always unpredictable, Heat Holders® can help keep you toasty warm from the cold weather outbreaks that may possibly occur this leap day! From our collection of warm thermal socks, hats and gloves, Heat Holders® gear is sure to make your life warmer!