Today is February 29, 2016. That means it is leap day! Every four years, February has a 29th day of the month instead of the usual 28. The 29th day means that everyone has an extra day out of the year to make something happen! Whether that be taking the day off from work to have an extra day of leisure added to your year, taking your extra day to volunteer and help others, or making sure to go into work extra early to get more tasks done – the possibilities of what to do with your extra day are endless! A few people may even finally have the chance to celebrate their real date of birth! Being born on the 29th of February makes birthday celebrations extra special since the actual day you were born only comes around once every four years.
There are also a few superstitions and traditions surrounding February 29th since it is such a rare occurrence – WAY more rare than the occasional Friday the 13th we usually get every few months. Here are a few of the unusual superstitions and traditions that surround the day:
- In Ireland the 29th of February is a day that women propose to men, instead of the other way around! In some European countries, if a man refuses a proposal made by a woman on leap day he has to buy her 12 pairs of gloves.
- In Scotland, it is considered to be very unlucky to be born on leap day.
- Greeks believe that it is unlucky to marry during a leap year and extremely unlucky to marry on leap day.
- In Russia it is believed that a leap year will bring horrible weather.
- Anthony, Texas is a town in the United States that has proclaimed to be the leap year capital of the world, and thus celebrates with a giant festival every four years.
No matter the superstitions, Leap Day is an extra 24 hours that you only get every four years. So, if you took the extra day to shoot some hoops, spent some time with family and friends, or were faced with having to start up the work-week, you can reflect back on how precious a whole 24 hours really is.