It has been four years since Feb. 29 has been on our calendars. Leap day is one many people know of but very few know the reason we have it.
Since man’s first attempt to make a calendar that represents the time it takes for the earth to circle the sun, calculating the exact formula has proven difficult. Many calendars were made modifying leap days and leap years before 1582, when Pope Gregory XIII introduced the Gregorian Calendar — a calendar we still use to this day — that gives the world a formula that maximizes our time in the year, allowing days and months to stay in step with the seasons.
Along with the special origin of leap year, having a birthday on Feb. 29 is unique. Freshman Joshua Wesley said having a birthday on leap day is a special and rare thing in which he finds enjoyment.
“It’s funny to tell people that I’m 5 or 4 and a half [years old],” said Wesley. “They’re like, ‘What? 4 and a half?’”
Being born on a leap day means one only has their birthday once every four years, which isn’t a bad thing in University Communications & Marketing assistant director Tom Buterbaugh’s opinion.
“It’s good,” Buterbaugh said. “You don’t get old.”
Because leap day babies only have birthdays every four years, they have the freedom to celebrate it on either March 1 or Feb. 28. In junior Nora Roberts’ case, she sometimes chooses any day of the year to be her birthday.
“Two years [ago], I had my birthday on just a random day because I didn’t have an actual birthday that year, so I was just like, ‘Well, who’s stopping me?’” Roberts said.
So, why should you care about this holiday? Because with it being carefully placed every four years, you don’t lose time. February gets to be longer, and if you are like Roberts, Wesley or Buterbaugh, you get to stay young forever.
Before you have to wait four more years to celebrate leap year, take some time this Feb. 29 to enjoy the unique day and make a joke about your friend only being 5 years old.