Once every four years, we get an extra day to help offset the rotation of the Earth and coordinate with the sun’s position. This is because a full rotation of the Earth actually takes 365 days and 6 hours, thus resulting in a Leap Year every 4 years once 24 hours has accumulated.
A lot of fun things have been going around on this rare day – from social media badges on Foursquare to a special Google search image, it seems everyone wants to take part in Leap Day. Even TV shows like 30 Rock and Parks and Recreation have dedicated special episodes to Leap Day. Today, Timehop even sent around its daily email, noting that they can’t recount its subscribers’ social media activity one year ago today since today didn’t exist last year! Instead, Timehop provided some interesting Leap Day facts. Check them out!
- An Irish tradition says women may propose to men on Leap Day, which was a big deal 50 Leap Days ago! The idea was to ‘balance’ gender roles just as Leap Day ‘balances’ the calendar.
- An old European tradition called leap day “Bachelor’s Day” was when a man had to pay a penalty if he refused a woman’s Leap Day marriage proposal. The payment was 12 pairs of gloves, so the lady could hide her embarrassment at not having an engagement ring on her finger.
- Most tweeted joke about Leap Year: “Ernie: Bert, what’s a frog’s favorite year? Can’t guess? Leap Year! Leap Year. Bert? Are you listening?” @SesameStreet
- Lord of the Rings, Return of the King won 11 Academy Awards on Leap Day in 2004, tying the record held by 1959’s “Ben-Hur” and 1997’s “Titanic”
- Ja Rule, the famous American singer/actor was born on a leap day in 1976. Today, he’s turning 36, but it’s actually only his 9th birthday.
- 2008 Leap Day Top Songs: Low by Flo Rida featuring T-Pain, With You by Chris Brown, and Don’t Stop the Music by Rihanna
- 2008 Leap Day Top Movies: Semi-Pro ($18.9 million), Vantage Point ($16.2 million), The Other Boleyn Girl ($10.6 million), The Spiderwick Chronicles ($10.5 million), and Jumper ($9.5 million)
How are you celebrating Leap Day?