By : Amaya Flaherty-Lewis
Leap year starts on Wednesday, January 1st in 2020, and ends on Thursday, December 31st. Leap years have 366 days, instead of the regular 365 days we get in other years. We use leap years to keep our calendar in sync with the seasons or Earth’s revolutions around the Sun. The Earth revolves around the Sun approximately 365.25 days, so to make sure that a calendar year is the same as a regular year (the period of Earth’s revolution) there needs to be an extra day.We have leap years every 4 years.
How did leap year originate, then? The Gregorian calendar is the calendar used in most of the world and was named after Pope Gregory XIII, whom introduced it in October 1582. The Gregorian calendar is closely based off of the Julian calendar, which was introduced by Julius Caesar in 45 B.C. The Julian calendar featured a 12-month, 365-day year, with an intercalary day inserted every fourth year at the end of February to make an average year of 365.25 days.
The first leap year was in 1752 in Britain, when 11 days were “lost” from the month of September with the adoption of the Gregorian calendar by Britain and their colonies, at the time. Since Roman general Julius Caesar introduced the first leap years over 2,000 years ago with the Julian calendar, this makes him the inventor of it.
People born on February 29th are called “leaplings” or a “leaper,” or a “leap-year baby.” In non-leap years, some leap-year babies celebrate their birthday on either February 28th or March 1st, while others only observe birthdays on the authentic intercalary date, February 29th. When they celebrate their birthday is up to them.