Massachusetts residents: Are you aware of the origins on why we add an extra 24 hours to our calendar every 4 years? Here are some fun facts about a leap year when an extra day is added to the Gregorian calendar, making the total duration of that year 366, not 365 days. The "BONUS" day is added at the end of the month on February 29th.

Claudio Divizia

It all began way back when Julius Caesar is credited for originating this process as he got this idea from Egyptians who began keeping track of time via a solar calendar which began by the third-century BCE as the Egyptians created this aspect by following a standard calendar that spanned 365 days with the extra day tacked on every four years, hence The Leap Year!

Solar System

Statistics show it takes approximately 365.25 days for our planet Earth to orbit the Sun (aka a solar year). I wonder if this also encompasses The Milky Way, but don't ask me, I'm NOT an astronomer in nature, even though star gazing sounds like a fun hobby. We usually round the days in a calendar year that is 365 days in a year. To make up for the missing partial day, we add one day to our calendar approximately every four years and that is known as "a leap year".


Did you also know that "leap day" is also often associated with marriage and proposals? Here's some more details on this subject at hand:

St Patrick's Day Festival 2007
Getty Images

In 5th century Ireland, St. Bridget lamented to St. Patrick as he forbade women to propose marriage to men. Legend says that St. Patrick designated February 29th as a day where women were not allowed to implement this practice which did not occur annually, hence February 29th became the chosen day. Did you also realize that leap day is also known as Bachelor's Day. You learn something new every day! In Greek tradition, it is considered bad luck to marry on Leap Day, and statistics suggest that Greek couples continue to take this superstition seriously. A fact that continues on in this "so-called 21st century" within my native land.

(Audio clip of Dinah Shore courtesy of

Another interest statistic: There are only about 5 million people in the whole world who were born on February 29, with the odds of being born on Leap Day standing at about 1-in-1,461. Actress, talk show hostess and singer Dinah Shore was born in 1916 as we have a musical treat for you to honor her special day. (click the video and you'll see how talented she was in her heyday).


(Photo image of "Unshakeable" book cover courtesy of

Also, nationwide motivational speaker Tony Robbins was born in 1960 as he shares this coveted honor with Dinah Shore as they are known affectionately to all of us  as "Leaplings". Technically they only get to celebrate their birthdays once every four years, but they truly are part of an elite group.

BOTTOM LINE: You have an extra day this year, make the most of it as we go back to 365 in 2025.

(Some information obtained in this article courtesy of

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Gallery Credit: Stacker

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