Everything You Ever Wanted To Know(And Didn’t) About Leap Day

It’s Leap Day, everybody.  The one time every 4 years when we all get an extra day to do the things we don’t have time for.  First off, do you work on salary?  If you do, then leave work immediately because you are working for free.  Salaries are based on a 365 day calendar so I urge you to take the day off.  Go for a long drive with no destination, listen to that song that you secretly love(you know, that really embarrassing one), kiss somebody special, buy your children a gift, buy your parents a gift, learn something new, live this day for all the other days that you never really lived.  Leap Day, FrogFor today is Leap Day, where the rules are what you make them.

Leap Day has long been a day with many traditions and downfalls to it.  For hundreds of years, there has been an Irish tradition where women are allowed to propose marriage to men on Leap Day.  In fact, in some European countries it was customary for a man to buy a gift for a women if he refused her proposal(typically 12 pairs of gloves to hide her shame of not having a ring on her finger).  In other countries such as Scotland and Greece, it is considered bad luck to be born or get married on Leap Day.  People who are born on Leap Day even face discrimination and hardship here in the U.S.A.  Many bank and insurance company computers cannot recognize February 29th as a date of birth and so people are urged to choose between February 28th and March 1st.  Even Google and Facebook had initial glitches when it came to their users identifying February 29th as a birth date.  In 1997, an online group called The Honor Society for Leap Year Day Babies was formed to both right these transgressions and to allow people born on this interesting day to connect with each other.

Though, for most of society, Leap Day is merely a curiosity.  Some see it as a nuisance created by our imperfect ancestors who simply didn’t have the knowledge to create a more perfect calendar.  Many disregard this day all together.  The fact is that we only get this day once every four years and I think we could all use a reason to make a seemingly ordinary day a little more extraordinary.



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