Leap Day

29thHappy Leap Day morning.

February 29th. A once-in-every-4-years-event.

As reported yesterday in the New York Times, I know know why it was added (quoted below).

And that it can be taken away.

Back Story

Feb. 29 appears on the calendar this month, as this is a leap year. That got us wondering: How did we end up with this calendar and its periodic recalibrations?

While China and other countries recently celebrated Lunar New Year, and Iran is preparing for Nowruz on the first day of spring, most of the Western world abides by the Gregorian calendar.

Pope Gregory XIII issued a papal bull, or proclamation, outlining the new calendar on this day in 1582. It refined the Julian calendar that was in use at the time by synchronizing it more precisely with the Earth’s movement around the sun.

While the Gregorian calendar took the pope’s name, its adoption was heavily influenced by Christopher Clavius, a German priest and astronomer, and Aloysius Lilius, an Italian doctor.

Like the Julian calendar, it ensured that every year divisible by four would be a leap year. But it added an exception: Years ending in two zeros would be a leap year only if divisible by 400.

This more sparing use of leap years lets the calendar resolve a discrepancy with the solar year in the Julian calendar. (That explains why Eastern Orthodox churches, which still observe the Julian calendar, celebrate Christmas in early January.)

Britain, along with its American colonies, adopted the Gregorian calendar in 1752. Russia waited until 1918.

Even with the elaborate system of leap years, the calendar will still require another tweak. A day will need to be dropped in about 3,000 years.

Now you know…and that we will lose a day in a few thousand years.

Today, IMHO is a “found” day.

I have left it unscheduled so I can write more chapters of my book.

My wish to you: make today great-er. Be amazing-er.

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About connect2collaborate

LinkedIn coach and evangelist, having a great time pursuing my passion of connecting professionals so they can collaborate more!
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2 Responses to Leap Day

  1. deutschb says:

    I think you jumped the gun on this post. Still I like the idea, so I’ll save it for the 29th.

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