The day that comes only once every four years. According to Wikipdedia, here is the official explanation.
February 29 is a date that occurs only every four years, in years evenly divisible by 4, such as 1988, 1996, 2008 or 2016 (with the exception of century years not divisible by 400, such as 1900) for the Gregorian calendar, which is most widely used in the world today. These are called leap years, and February 29 is the 60th day of the Gregorian calendar in such a year, with 306 days remaining until the end of that year. February 29 is also known as bissextile day or Leap Day.
I feel sorry for the people who have birthdays today. While it might seem cool when they’re born, later it can be a problem when they only have a birthday every four years. Until they hit middle age, then they can celebrate every four years. Wait! Maybe that’s not such a bad thing. Happy Birthday to any leap year people!
Other fun leap day facts. The United States has it’s Presidential elections on leap years. Today is the one day that women can propose marriage to men, a tradition that goes back to old days in England and Ireland. It’s also known as Sadie Hawkins Day in the United States. Here are some fun facts from another site.
Â St Bridget’s Complaint: It is believed this tradition was started in 5th century Ireland when St. Bridget complained to St. Patrick about women having to wait for so long for a man to propose. According to legend, St. Patrick said the yearning females could propose on this one day in February during the leap year.
Greek Superstition:Â There is a Greek superstition that claims couples have bad luck if they marry during a leap year. Apparently one in five engaged couples in Greece will avoid planning their wedding during a leap year.
English Law:Â According to English law, February 29th was ignored and had no legal status. Folks assumed that traditions would also have no status on that day. It was also reasoned that since the leap year day existed to fix a problem in the calendar, it could also be used to fix an old and unjust custom that only let men propose marriage. The first documentation of this practice dates back to 1288, when Scotland passed a law that allowed women to propose marriage to the man of their choice in that year. They also made it law that any man who declined a proposal in a leap year must pay a fine. The fine could range from a kiss to payment for a silk dress or a pair of gloves.