In order to keep the calendar year synchronized with the astronomical or seasonal year, there is one extra day in February every four years. This year is commonly referred to as Leap Year with February 29th (the actual extra day) being designated as Leap Day.
According to the Gregorian calendar, there are three criteria that must be met for a year to be classified as a leap year:
- The year can be evenly divided by 4;
- If the year can be evenly divided by 100, it is NOT a leap year, unless;
- The year is also evenly divisible by 400. Then it is a leap year.
There are some interesting traditions and custom that accompany leap year:
- Women can propose to the men.
- People who are born on February 29 – who are all invited to join The Honor society of Leap Year Day Babies. People born on the 29 generally celebrate their birthdays (during the common years) on either February 28 or March 1.
- it is considered unlucky for someone to be born on leap day.
- in some places, leap day has been known as ‘Bachelors’ Day’. A man was expected to pay a penalty, such as a gown or money, if he refused a marriage proposal from a woman on Leap Day.