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Leap Year, February 29

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When is National Leap Year?
Leap Year is always in the month of February
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About Leap Year
A leap year (or intercalary year) is a year containing one or more extra days (or, in case of lunisolar calendars, an extra month) in order to keep the calendar year synchronised with the astronomical or seasonal year.

For example, February would have 29 days in a leap year instead of the usual 28. Seasons and astronomical events do not repeat at an exact number of full days, so a calendar which had the same number of days in each year would over time drift with respect to the event it was supposed to track. By occasionally inserting (or intercalating) an additional day or month into the year, the drift can be corrected. A year which is not a leap year is called a common year.
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Leap Day
February 29 is a date that occurs only every four years, and is called leap day. This day is added to the calendar in leap years as a corrective measure, because the earth does not orbit around the sun in precisely 365.000 days.

The Gregorian calendar is a modification of the Julian calendar first used by the Romans. The Roman calendar originated as a lunisolar calendar and named many of its days after the syzygies of the moon: the new moon (Kalendae or calends, hence "calendar") and the full moon (Idus or ides). The Nonae or nones was not the first quarter moon but was exactly one nundinae or Roman market week of nine days before the ides, inclusively counting the ides as the first of those nine days. In 1825, Ideler believed that the lunisolar calendar was abandoned about 450 BC by the decemvirs, who implemented the Roman Republican calendar, used until 46 BC. The days of these calendars were counted down (inclusively) to the next named day, so 24 February was ante diem sextum Kalendas Martii ("the sixth day before the calends of March") often abbreviated a. d. VI Kal. Mar. The Romans counted days inclusively in their calendars, so this was actually the fifth day before March 1 when counted in the modern exclusive manner (not including the starting day).

Read the complete information at:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leap_year
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Folk traditions
In the English speaking world, it is a tradition that women may propose marriage only on leap years. While it has been argued that the tradition was initiated by Saint Patrick or Brigid of Kildare in 5th century Ireland, it is dubious as the tradition has not been attested before the 19th century. Supposedly, a 1288 law by Queen Margaret of Scotland (then age five and living in Norway), required that fines be levied if a marriage proposal was refused by the man; compensation ranged from a kiss to £1 to a silk gown, in order to soften the blow. Because men felt that put them at too great a risk, the tradition was in some places tightened to restricting female proposals to the modern leap day, February 29, or to the medieval leap day, February 24. According to Felten: "A play from the turn of the 17th century, 'The Maydes Metamorphosis,' has it that 'this is leape year/women wear breeches.' A few hundred years later, breeches wouldn't do at all: Women looking to take advantage of their opportunity to pitch woo were expected to wear a scarlet petticoat -- fair warning, if you will."

In Denmark, the tradition is that women may propose on leap day February 24 and that refusal must be compensated with 12 pairs of gloves.

In Greece, it is believed that getting married in a leap year is bad luck for the couple. Thus, mainly in the middle of the past century, couples avoided setting a marriage date in a leap year.
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Birthdays
A person born on February 29 may be called a "leapling" or a "leaper" . In common years they usually celebrate their birthdays on February 28 or March 1.

For legal purposes, their legal birthdays depend on how different laws count time intervals. In Taiwan, for example, the legal birthday of a leapling is February 28 in common years, so a Taiwanese leapling born on February 29, 1980 would have legally reached 18 years old on February 28, 1998.

If a period fixed by weeks, months, and years does not commence from the beginning of a week, month, or year, it ends with the ending of the day which proceeds the day of the last week, month, or year which corresponds to that on which it began to commence. But if there is no corresponding day in the last month, the period ends with the ending of the last day of the last month.

In some situations, March 1 is used as the birthday in a non-leap year since it then is the day just after February 28.

"Strictly speaking a leapling will have fewer birthdays than their age in years." "That paradox is sometimes found in children's literature where a person's claim to be only a quarter of their actual age turns out to be based on counting their leap-year birthdays." "The same birthday paradox in Gilbert and Sullivan's 1879 comic opera The Pirates of Penzance comes as a shock to Frederic the pirate apprentice who finds that he is bound to serve the pirates until his 21st birthday intead of his 21st year."

According to DC Comics editor Julius Schwartz, the birth date of Superman is February 29. This was chosen both as a way to keep the character young as well as account for the differences between Earth years and Kryptonian years.

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