Leap Day is it’s own holiday

By Kendrick Jackson, Contributing Writer

Feb. 29, also known as Leap Day, is a day that comes once every four years. Many people will treat Leap Day as a normal day, but there is a lot of history surrounding this date.

Julius Caesar, a powerful Roman dictator during the Roman Empire era, is responsible for Leap Day. Caesar added an extra day to keep the calendar system in line with the seasons. Leap Day officially came into effect in 45 B.C. If this wasn’t enough, Caesar also renamed Quintillis, the fifth month of the year, to what we know as July in today’s society.

Thanks to the extra day given to us by Julius Caesar, some of the biggest celebrities get to have Leap Day as their birthday. Alex Rocco, mostly known for his role in The Godfather, and Terrence Long, a former MLB baseball player, were both born on Leap Day.

Sir James Milne Wilson was also born on Leap Day. He was also the eighth Premier of Tasmania. Unlike the previous two gentlemen mentioned, Sir Wilson achieved the rare feat of being born and dying on Leap Day. How ironic is that!

For all the ladies that are looking to propose to their significant other, you are in luck! There is an old Irish tradition that only allows women to propose on Leap Day. This all came about when Saint Patrick, the primary patron saint of Ireland, received several complaints from women, who were tired of waiting for their significant other to propose to them.

St. Patrick allowed women to propose their significant other every four years, but it came with a price. Unfortunately, the price is for the men. Any man who declined his woman’s proposal had to pay a fine.

The odds of your finding someone who has a birthday on Leap Day are very low. The possibility of being born on Leap Day is one out of 1,461. Babies that are born on Leap Day are often referred to as “Leapers” or “Leaplings.”
One of the most frequent questions asked for “Leapers” is when do they celebrate their birthday? Well in the U.S., their birthday wouldn’t legally come until March 1. However, in countries such as China and New Zealand, Feb. 28 is their legal birthday.

So, don’t forget to celebrate Leap Day today, and enjoy it as a holiday in itself. Have a wonderful Leap Day, and do something creative like play leap frog. It’s appropriate for the situation!

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