As the world gets an extra day on February 29, there are various "Leap Day" celebrations and traditions around the world that Filipinos can take part in. "Leap years are years with 366 days, instead of the usual 365. Leap years are necessary because the actual length of a year is 365.242 days, not 365 days, as commonly stated," according to the educational site "About.com
," a New York Times company. Julius Caesar is known as the "father of leap year" because he decided to impose a "leap year" in 45 BC. "The early Romans had a 355-day calendar and to keep festivals occurring around the same season each year, a 22- or 23-day month was created every second year. Julius Caesar decided to simplify things," About.com said. Ceasar added days to different months of the year to create a 365-day calendar, based on the calculations made by his astronomer, Sosigenes. The Romans then designated February 29 as leap day.
However, in 1582, Pope Gregory XIII "further refined the calendar with the rule that leap day would occur in any year divisible by four," About.com said. LEAP DAY EVENTS AND TRADITIONS (1) Know and save the frogs
Frogs have become the comic representation of February 29 (well, because they leap). A number of animal-caring institutions from North America to Malaysia have joined the “Leaping Ahead of Extinction” campaign of the non-profit organization, Amphibian Ark, which calls on everyone to help save frogs and other amphibians that are at risk of extinction. For more information on this “leap of help,” check out the Amphibian Ark
’s “Leap Day activities” page. (2) Enjoy “the happiest place on earth” for 24 hours
Bring your kids (or channel your inner child) on Leap Day as Disney Parks
opens the first Disneyland (located in Anaheim, California) and the Magic Kingdom Park (one of the theme parks in Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida) for a whole 24 hours, starting on February 29 at 6:00 a.m. (US time), with its “One More Disney Day.” Tickets come at $99, while admission is free for children under three years old. (3) In Canada, know about the context of calendars
Get a better perspective about this special day through the talk, “Why We Have a Leap Year,” which will be held at the first level of the Royal Ontario Museum
(ROM) on February 29, 10:00 a.m. to noon. ROM “educator” Ian McGregor will discuss leap year “and why we have it, which will lead into a more general talk about calendars, astronomy, and the Mayan calendar." For more information, check the ROM’s Lectures, Courses, and Events page. (4) Greet "leap year celebrants"
Though some “leapers” feel disappointed that the universe basically skips on their special day, some celebrants told the Huffington Post that they “relish” their birthdays. “My birthday feels like a cosmic joke,” said Jan Harrell of Ashland, Oregon, who is turning 64 (or in leap years, 16). “But not a bad one, just a very, very funny one.” So since they are technically entitled to celebrate only once every four years, go ahead and be more generous in greeting that friend who was born on February 29. Again, it happens only once every four years! According to the blog site chiff.com, some of the famous people born on February 29 are:
- Ja Rule, rapper (1976)
- Anthonio Sabato Jr., model and actor (1972)
- Dinah Shore, singer (1916)
- Jimmy Dorsey, band leader (1904)
- Gioacchino Rossini, Italian opera composer (1792)
(5) Girls, go ahead: court your guy
Forget about the ways of chivalry, ladies. On Leap Day, ladies are allowed to ask their man’s hand in marriage. According to chiff.com
, the tradition of women romantically pursuing men in leap years began in Ireland in the 5th Century. At that time, Saint Bridget complained to Saint Patrick about women having to wait for men to propose. "Patrick finally relented and set February 29 aside as the day set aside allowing women the right to ask for a man's hand in marriage," chiff.com said.
Later, in Scotland, Queen Margaret declared in the year 1288 that every February 29, a woman may ask a man for his hand in marriage. The men who refused had to pay a fine "in the form of a kiss, a silk dress, or a pair of gloves given to the rejected lady fair," chiff.com said. (6) Take a leap, even when it’s not February 29 When it all comes down to it, any day can be your Leap Day to let go of a fear, apply for the job you’ve always wanted, or to tell somebody just how much you mean to them. So go ahead and grab that chance. You might just lose it if you wait for another four years. - GMA News