2012 Leap Year: Leap Year Facts, Leap Day Birthdays, Superstition
Leap year for 2012 is Wednesday, February 29th.
Leap year is a year in which one extra day is added to the end of February, giving February 29 days, instead of 28.
Leap Year Facts
If you like numbers, you'll appreciate this. You can figure out which year will be a leap year by dividing the year by 4. If it comes out evenly, it's a leap year. A century year, a year that begins a new century, will never be a leap year unless the year itself is divisible by 400. 2000 was a leap year, and there won't be another one until the year 2400.
Traditionally, Leap day is the one day that women can propose to men. Since the day has no legal status, especially in the Old English Law, it had been assumed that the traditions didn't either, so women began taking advantage of this and proposing to men they wanted to marry.
Leap Day is also St Oswald’s Day, named after an archbishop of York who died on February 29, 992. The memorial is celebrated on February 29 during Leap Years and on February 28 during common years.
As most historical accounts show, the modification probably came at the request of an Alexandrian astronomer named Sosigenes, who rightly believed the intermittent addition of extra time to the yearly calendar would better synchronize the seasons with Earth’s orbit around sun.
The chances of being born on a Leap Year are 1 in 1,461.
Leap Day Birthdays
We all have those friends who try to make people guess their age and even though they may look like they are in their 30s, they tell people they are eight.
They can say this because they are born on a Leap Day and only actually have a birthday every four years on February 29th.
Leapers have been denied their "free" birthday meal from restaurants and have many computer issues. A parent of Zoe Sanders writes a hospital in Florida had to call a technician to "fix" the problem when the doctor couldn't enter February 29 into the system. A woman in Minnesota couldn't renew her driver's license and a woman in North Carolina couldn't set up a bank account because the systems didn't recognize the day.
In a “common year,” when there’s no Feb. 29, reportedly Facebook reminds a Leaper’s friends on Feb. 28 that the birthday is the next day, but then, on March 1, there’s nada, nothing, zip, unless it’s a leap year and it’s actually Feb. 29. So, unless your pals are especially thoughtful, that means no special wall greetings or pokes or exploration crystals for you in Crystalville.
Famous Leap Day Birthdays
- 1792: Italian opera composer Gioacchino Rossini
- 1916: Singer Dinah Shore
- 1920: Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Howard Nemerov
- 1924: Cleveland Indians 3rd Baseman Al Rosen
- 1976: Rapper Ja Rule
Most Leap Day babies choose whether to celebrate their birthday on February 28th or March 1st. For legal purposes, their legal birhdays depend on how different laws count time intervals. In Taiwan, for example, the legal birthday of a leapling is 28th February in common years, so a Taiwanese leapling born on Feb 29, 1980 would have legally reached 18 years on Feb 28, 1998.
In some situations, March 1 is used as the birthday in a non-leap year since it then is the day just after February 28.
Leap Year Superstitions
There is a Greek superstition that claims couples have bad luck if they marry during a leap year. Apparently one in five engaged couples in Greece will avoid planning their wedding during a leap year.
In Scotland, it used to be considered unlucky for someone to be born on Leap Day, just like Friday the 13th is considered an unlucky day by many.