That Extra Calendar Day

Once in 4 years, like the Olympics, like the World Cup (and if you ask which World Cup, there is only one true world cup) the elusive & shy February 29th has come on by for a visit. 2012 being a leap year we get an extra day in February, making it 366 days instead of 365. A leap year (or intercalary or bissextile year) is a year containing one additional day (or, in the case of lunisolar calendars, a month) in order to keep the calendar year synchronized with the astronomical or seasonal year.

I’m gonna be on the look out and dressed in my best today – traditionally, women take the ring into their own hands and propose on Leap Day! So do not hesitate or you will be beaten in the race to propose. Yes that is a British Isles tradition. In¬†Denmark, the tradition is that women may propose on the bissextile leap year day, February 24, and that refusal must be compensated with 12 pairs of gloves. In¬†Finland, the tradition is that if a man refuses a woman’s proposal on leap year day, he should buy her the fabrics for a skirt.

However in Greece, marriage in a leap year is considered unlucky.One in five engaged couples in Greece will plan to avoid getting married in a leap year.

What about those folks who were born on February 29th? Only getting to celebrate their birthdays every four years :_( Although a lot of the do celebrate every year, just on the 28th of Feb or the 1st of March. Who can wait 4 years for another birthday? The only good thing would be is if you didn’t age during that gap, which ofcourse is too good to be true.

Many happy returns to the three children of Norway’s Henriksen family ‚Äď Heidi (b. 1960 ), Olav (b. 1964) and Lief-Martin (b. 1968 ) – the most siblings to have their birthday on Feb 29th! Here are some famous people who were born on this day:

  • Former Prime Minister of India, the late Morarji Desai
  • Cam Ward, hockey goalie
  • Darren Ambrose, English footballer
  • Simon Gagne, hockey player
  • Khaled, singer
  • Henri Richard, hockey legend

One thought on “That Extra Calendar Day

  1. I wonder if a lot of women proposed to their partners on Feb. 29. I’d love to know. I also think it would be hard to be born on that day. You’d never really get a proper birthday.

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