Fun ways to spend extra Leap Day hours

By Metrocreative

The sentiment that there aren’t enough hours in the day may be true for busy families and individuals. However, once every four years, everyone is given an extra day on their calendars in February.

Although Leap Day is designed to move the clock and calendar more in line with the Earth’s rotation around the sun, which takes slightly longer than 365 days, it also can be an exciting opportunity to relax and have some fun. The following are some ways to maximize that extra day of the year.

Learn about leaplings

A leapling is a person who was born on Feb. 29 during a leap year. Highlights magazine reports the odds of being a leapling is one in 1,461. Find out if anyone you know is a leapling or research celebrity leaplings.

Celebrate Leap Day

Even if Leap Day isn’t an official holiday, it is worthy of celebration. Figure out a theme for your party, and then invite friends over for an extra day of revelry or relaxation.

Take the day off

Make the most of Leap Day by enjoying a mental health day and taking off from work or school, if possible. Spend the day engaged in hobbies or other activities.

Leapin’ lizards

Kids may enjoy reading up on or learning about the various animals that are good at leaping, which can include frogs or flying squirrels. Children and adults can take turns doing their own leaping long jumps to see who can leap the farthest.

Calculate your leap year age

Students can practice math and have fun in the process by dividing each person’s age by four to determine what age they would be had they been born on a Leap Day.

Commemorate in fours

Do everything for the day in fours. Enjoy four scoops of ice cream or commit to a four-hour hike. Go out to lunch or dinner with friends and spend four hours finding out everything that has been going on in the lives of others. Watch a movie marathon that adds up to four hours of fantastic cinema.

Leap into community service

Use the extra time for doing good. Figure out where you can volunteer your services and make Leap Day all about giving back.

Leap Year facts

• It takes the Earth 365 days, 5 hours, 48 minutes and 45 seconds to circle once around the sun, says Time and Date. Without leap years, we’d lose almost six hours every year. After a century, the calendar would be off by nearly 24 days.

• Despite 2100, the next turn of the century, being divisible by four, it will not be a leap year. That’s because it is divisible by 100 but not 400, which means it will not be a leap year. This exception to the rule pertains to new century years.

• Forbes reports that it’s likely the calendar will need to be changed again since the Earth’s rotation rate, the axial tilt orientation and the Earth’s orbital motion around the sun is not constant. Various effects, such as earthquakes and something called tidal braking, affect the passage of time.

• Legend states that on Feb. 29 it is alright for a woman to propose to a man, a custom attributed to St. Bridget. Bridget complained to St. Patrick that some women had to wait too long for their suitors to pop the question. As the legend goes, Patrick supposedly provided women this day to propose to compensate.

• Some cultures view Feb. 29 as an unlucky day. In Greece, couples are warned against planning weddings during leap years. In Italy, the phrase, “Anno biseto, anno funesto” (“leap year, doom year”) is uttered.

• Leap Day is not considered a legal day. Those who are leaplings have to choose Feb. 28 or March 1 for their official and legal birthdays.

• Individuals who are paid fixed monthly incomes often work for free on Feb. 29 because their wages will not be calculated to include the extra day.

• Guinness World Records indicates the only family it could verify as producing three consecutive generations born on leap days belongs to the Keoghs. The elder Patrick Anthony Keogh was born in 1940, his son Peter Eric was born in 1964, and his granddaughter Bethany in 1996.