Leap Year is more than just an extra day on the calendar.

Julius Caesar introduced Leap Years in the Roman empire over 2000 years ago, but the Julian calendar had only one rule: any year evenly divisible by 4 would be a leap year.

As touched on above, a year that is divisible by 100, but not by 400, is not technically a leap year. Therefore 2000 was a leap year under the Gregorian calendar, as was 1600. But 1700, 1800 and 1900 were not. “There’s a good reason behind it,” Ian Stewart, emeritus professor of mathematics, told the BBC. “The year is 365 days and a quarter long – but not exactly. If it was exactly, then you could say it was every four years.” Pope Gregory and his astronomers’ solution will have to be rethought in around 10,000 years, Prof Stewart points out.

A complete orbit of the earth around the sun takes exactly 365.2422 days to complete, but the Gregorian calendar uses 365 days. So leap seconds – and leap years – are added as means of keeping our clocks (and calendars) in sync with the Earth and its seasons.

Here are some fun facts about Leap Year:

Dating back to the 5th century, the tradition of women proposing on leap day started in Ireland when St Bridget complained to St Patrick that women had to wait too long for suitors to propose.

In Denmark, a man refusing a woman’s leap day proposal must give her 12 pairs of gloves, while in Finland it’s fabric for a skirt. Very interesting…

People born on February 29 are called “leaplings” or “leapers”. The chance of being born on a leap day is one in 1,461. I say, if you’re lucky enough to be born on Leap Day: You Should Play The PowerBall!

Bottom line. Make sure you use this extra time wisely. Leap Day falls on a Monday this year so why not make it a three day weekend on Amelia Island? We’ll make sure you get the most out of your extra 24 hours!

Leap Year 2016

Frogs are typically associated with Leap Year

Sources: Forbes.com, Marshall Shepperd/mirror.uk