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10 Cool Things You Didn't Know About Leap Year

The Proposal

Tradition says women can ask men to marry them on Leap Day.

I don’t know much about math, so you’re not going to get a bunch of mathematical calculations from me about how to figure out why we need an extra day every four years known as Leap Day. Who cares?

Instead, let’s have some fun and talk about ten cools things you probably didn’t know about Leap Year, Leap Day and February 29th.


  • Free Rent! 1 of 10
    Free Rent!
    Did you know you are saving money today? Services that charge you a monthly fee do not expect you to pay more for February 29th, so you could argue you are getting your rent or cable free today.
    Photo credit: Intuit
  • Facebook Not Nice to Leaplings 2 of 10
    Facebook Not Nice to Leaplings
    If you were born on February 29th and you're on Facebook, it's a crapshoot as to what day Facebook will tell everyone it's your birthday. ABC News quotes a Leapling who says, "Every single year, Facebook chooses whatever day it wants -- or none at all -- and people start wishing you a 'Happy Birthday'. Because Facebook told them to. Sometimes the 28th, sometimes the 1st, sometimes not at all."
    Photo credit: Facebook
  • It’s Your Turn on Leap Day, Ladies! 3 of 10
    It's Your Turn on Leap Day, Ladies!
    I didn't know this, but it's a tradition that women can propose marriage on Leap Day. According to About.com, "... this tradition was started in 5th century Ireland when St. Bridget complained to St. Patrick about women having to wait for so long for a man to propose. According to legend, St. Patrick said the yearning females could propose on this one day in February during the leap year." Gee thanks, St. Patty.
    Photo credit: Walt Disney Studios
  • How Many People Have Leap Year Birthdays? 4 of 10
    How Many People Have Leap Year Birthdays?
    About.com says that people born on February 29 share their birthday with only .068% of the worldwide population, which is about 5 million people. People born on any other day share their birthday with 0.274% of the population, or around 19 million people.
    Photo credit: Foreign Policy Association
  • Mom & Daughter Both Born on Leap Day 5 of 10
    Mom & Daughter Both Born on Leap Day
    Michelle Birnbaum of New Jersey and her daughter Rose were both born on February 29th. What are the odds? According to the Huffington Post, 2 million to 1.
    Photo credit: NorthJersey.com
  • Great Leap Days in History 6 of 10
    Great Leap Days in History
    According to Wikipedia, St. Petersburg, Florida became a city on Leap Day in 1892 and Hattie McDaniel became the first African-American to win an Academy Award on Leap Day in 1940 for her role in "Gone With The Wind".
    Photo credit: News One
  • Save Your Mom With Pig Trotters 7 of 10
    Save Your Mom With Pig Trotters
    About.com says that because it is believed parents are more likely to die during a Leap Year in Taiwan, a married daughter is expected to, "... return home during the leap month and bring pig trotter noodles to her parents to wish them good health and good fortune."
    Photo credit: Flickr
  • No More Leap Days Ever? 8 of 10
    No More Leap Days Ever?
    Some scholars say this Leap Year should be the very last one, according to the Christian Science Monitor. Two professors from Johns Hopkins University have suggested creating a new 364-day calendar to replace the Gregorian one on which we now rely. What do they have against February 29th?
    Photo credit: Stanford
  • Leap for the Camera 9 of 10
    Leap for the Camera
    Flickr wants you to join in the celebration of Leap Day today. They ask you to, "Grab your camera, place it on a tripod or a suitable surface, prepare the timer or grab your remote. Ready? Now jump! And upload your photo with the tag FlickrLeap2012; you can use the hashtag #FlickrLeap2012 on Twitter, too."
    Photo credit: Flickr
  • Leap Years Are Baaaaad Luck 10 of 10
    Leap Years Are Baaaaad Luck
    In many southern European cultural traditions, Leap Years are considered bad luck. The Oxford Dictionaries blog notes that, "A whole host of Italian proverbs such as anno bisesto, anno funesto (literally leap year, doom year) warn against planning certain activities for a leap year, for example, anno che bisesta non si sposa e non s'innesta (in a leap year you don't get married and you don't graft), since anno bisesto tutte le donne senza sesto (in a leap year, women are erratic) ... Even today in Russia and in other nearby countries such as Ukraine, leap years are still considered unlucky times to get married or buy a house. It's also believed that a leap year is likely to bring about more freak weather patterns and a greater risk of death all round ..." Yikes!
    Photo credit: WV Library

Photo credit: Walt Disney Studios

Read more from Katherine on Strollerderby or at her blog on postpartum depression.
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