Leap day, Feb. 29, is upon us. A leap year occurs every four years and is our way to keep the calendars and clocks in sync with the Earth and its seasons. Here are five facts about leap years you might not have known.
1. The chances of being born on Feb. 29 are one in 1,461, according to The Telegraph.
The chances of being a “leapling” are slim. Some people who are born on Feb. 29 celebrate their birthdays on Feb. 28 or March 1, or they celebrate every four years. Remember how in Parks and Recreation, Leslie Knope threw Jerry/ Larry/ Garry Gergich a Sweet 16 party? His birthday is on leap day, so he only celebrates his birthday every four years. But he goes all out. He and his wife Gayle split a huge piece of cotton candy cheesecake and hold hands for a while. Then she meets up with her friends, and he turns in early. Jerry/ Larry/ Garry really knows how to party.
2. Women can traditionally propose on a leap day, but it’s super sexist.
There is an old custom that dates back to the fifth century that allows women the opportunity to propose to men who were basically taking too long to do it themselves. The tradition is a little out-of-date though. Back then, women had only one day every four years of equality, being able to do what previously was considered something only a man could do. In Denmark, if a woman proposes to a man and he says no, he must give her 12 pairs of gloves. Gloves hide the naked ring finger, according to timeanddate.com. There is a famous Italian proverb, “Anno bisesto tutte le donne senza sesto,” which means “In a leap year, women are erratic.”
3. The Summer Olympics are always held in a leap year.
You probably already knew that the Summer Olympics were every four years, but you might not have put two and two together. Although it might just be a coincidence that the Summer Olympics occur every leap year, it makes the leap year even more special.
4. If you’re working on leap day, you’re basically working for free.
If you work on a fixed annual wage, you are technically not getting paid because it is an added day of the year. You should probably not go to work Feb. 29. Call in sick. You deserve it.
5. People throw parties on leap day.
Leap day provides another opportunity to party. The town of Anthony, Texas, is the self-proclaimed “Leap Year Capital of the World” and holds a major festival from Feb. 25 to 29.
Leap day only happens once every four years, so enjoy yourself.