February 29, 2008

Happy Leap Day...

Leap years are needed to keep our calendar in alignment with the earth's revolutions around the sun. The actual length of a year is 365.242 days, not 365 days, as commonly stated. Julius Caesar was behind the origin of leap year in 45 BC. The early Romans had a 355 day calendar and to keep festivals occurring around the same season each year a 22 or 23 day month was created every second year. Julius Caesar decided to simplify things and added days to different months of the year to create the 365 day calendar, the actual calculations were made by Caesar's astronomer, Sosigenes. Every fourth year following the 28th day of February, one day was to be added, making every fourth year a leap year.

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