Select Page

happy leap day

There’s an extra day to play with this year as 2024 is a leap year. So we will have the pleasure of the 29th February for the first time again in four years. (Not sure I was that pleased to have an extra day in the last leap year of 2020 though!)


The Earth doesn’t takes exactly 365 days to go round the sun. There is actually another five hours, 48 minutes and 45 seconds each year. So in order to keep our modern manmade calendar aligned with the solar journey (and to ensure we don’t lose nearly 6 hours a year), we need to add another day in February occasionally.


Whilst we say that there is a leap year every four years this isn’t exactly correct. The general rule of thumb is that if the year is divisible by 4 then it is a leap year. However, a year that is divisible by 100 is NOT a leap year, UNLESS the year is also divisible by 400! So 1900 wasn’t a leap year and neither will be 2100, but 2000 was a leap year. Our next leap years will be 2028 and 2032.


Julius Caesar first introduced the leap year to the calendar in 46 BC. Some famous events during leap years in history include: the first modern Olympic Games took place (in 1896), the Titanic sank (in 1912) and The D-Day landings happened (in 1944).

business studies

February 29th is not really a legal day and many companies don’t recognize Leap Day as a ‘valid day’. Some question whether a document signed on a leap day is legally binding. And lots of people may work for free on this extra day in February.

personal development

When it comes to proposing, traditionally a leap year meant that the tables were turned and women could have the chance to propose. See my previous post on wedding proposals during leap years. However some deem getting married (or even engaged) in a leap year unlucky.


Many cultures believe that leap years are unlucky. Reportedly, the world goes a bit erratic with crazy weather patterns, additional suffering and a pretty gloomy outlook. Hence why some countries believe it is unlucky to make major decisions in a leap year like buying a house or car, or getting married. It is also traditionally seen as unlucky to get married on a leap day (29 February), though some people comment that you’d only have to remember your wedding anniversary every 4 years. 


There are some profound sayings about leap years. For example, a Scottish proverb says that a leap year is bad for livestock: ‘Leap year was ne’er a good sheep year.’ And Italians say ‘anno bisesto, anno funesto’ (meaning that the leap year is doomed) as they believe that women are erratic in a leap year.


The Summer Olympic Games are held every four years on leap years.

media studies

The probability of being born on a leap day are 1 in 1,461 days. So there are only around 5 million people that are born on 29th February. Here are some famous leapers/leaplings:

  • Rapper – Ja Rule
  • Spanish Footballer – Ferrán Torres
  • Composer – Rossini
  • Actor – Joss Ackland
  • Prime Minister of Spain – Pedro Sánchez
  • And even Superman has this rare birthday too

It’s quite an exceptional day. What will you do with the extra day this year?