Leap year provides us with an extra day!
The summer Olympics, US presidential elections and leap years always occur in the same year.
The reason we have this wonderful extra day is because it takes earth 365.2422 days to complete one revolution around the sun. After what we calendar as a year, 365 days, we are actually 1/4 of a day short of the COMPLETE orbit.
We therefore need to add 1 day every 4 years. Those of you really sharp in math might wonder about the “22” that still remained after the quarter… it was actually .2422 afterall, and math is indeed an exact. Adding an extra day every 4 years *almost* fixes the problem.
When we converted from the Julian calendar to the Gregorian calendar, Pope Gregory added in some rare exceptions to the leap year rule.
If a leap year is divisible by 100 we skip it, unless it is also divisible by 400. If it is divisible by both 100 and 400 we observe the leap day. Thankfully those don’t happen too often and really smart people do the math. That’s how we keep the calendar on track!
Leap days are a necessity because unfortunately, the length of one earth day and the time it takes to orbit the sun don’t align perfectly. Thankfully someone was smart enough to figure it out. I’m just thankful for the extra day, and we celebrate accordingly!
I let my kids do 100% whatever they want on leap year day. They love it! Eat ice cream for breakfast, play unlimited video games. The day happens only once every 4 years, and is completely special! Make it extra-special with things you would “Never” allow. I subscribe to the philosophy that everything is learning, so today is an extra-special day filled with 100% student led- learning.
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