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Valentine's Day traditions around the world

Quick question: What are the chances that a certain person will be born on February 29, a leap day or a leap year? Depending on who you ask (and what century it is), chances are either 1: 1461 or 1: 1506. In short, the answer is complicated – just like many other things on this strange calendar date.

1. Julius Caesar understood the need for leap years.

The so-called Julian calendar was created in 46 BC. Chr. Developed by Julius Caesar and the Greek astronomer Sosigenes of Alexandria. At this point in history, the traditional Roman calendar was no longer in sync with the seasons. At Caesar's request, Sosigenes reformed it. One of his most important changes was the implementation of leap years: every fourth February received an additional day. This should bring the new calendar into line with the position of the earth relative to the sun. Unfortunately, the entire system fell victim to a miscalculation and included too many leap years.

. 2 The Julian calendar has not exactly solved the leap year problem.

Like many of his contemporaries, Sosigenes believed that each solar year (the period between successive spring equinoxes) lasted 365.25 days. However, this is not entirely true. As we now know, they last approximately 365 days, five hours, 48 ​​minutes and 45 seconds (ie 365.2421

9 days) each. Over time, the discrepancy made trouble. In 1577, the Julian calendar was out of balance for 10 days, which meant that important Christian holidays were not celebrated on the right dates. This prompted Pope Gregory XIII. To trade. A commission has been set up to change the old calendar and update the leap year system. This is how the new and improved Gregorian calendar was born. It was first implemented in 1582 and is still used today.

. 3 Sometimes we skip leap years.

According to Gregorian calendar rules, certain leap years are skipped. "Century years" like 1700, 1800 and 1900 were not given leap days that were only valid for the normal 365 days. However, if a given century is divisible by four, it still becomes a leap day and is therefore a real leap year. Therefore, 2000 AC is considered a leap year, but 2100 AC is not.

. 4 There is a centuries-old tradition in which women propose to men on leap days.

Like this whole trend The beginning is rather cloudy. Saint Patrick is said to have been an early advocate, and there is controversial claim that Queen Margaret of Scotland – who was only five at the time – legalized a fine in 1288 for men who refused to marry a woman on Leap Day Regardless, the custom has a long history in countries like Ireland, where leap day is also known as a bachelor's day.

. 5 There is an honor society for babies born on February 29th.

"Membership in society is free, but limited to people born on the leap year day," explains the group's official website. The HSLYDB, launched in 1997, now has more than 11,000 members from all over the world. Many of them are websites where February 29 is considered an invalid date of birth. HSLYDB has successfully commissioned Microsoft and YouTube to solve this problem. It also fought for "leap year" to be capitalized in dictionaries and confirmed in calendars. (This fight is still in progress.)

6. February 29 is connected to the witch trials in Salem.

February 29, 1692 was a dark day in colonial Massachusetts. At this point, the first warrants for the so-called witch trials against Salem were issued. At the end of these paranoia hearings and law enforcement, 20 people were executed.

. 7 Toys "R" Us came under fire once because they ignored the children of the leap year.

Toys "R" Us invited children to sign up for personalized birthday cards from the store mascot Geoffrey the Giraffe. Sounds cute, doesn't it? Well, there was a time when babies weren't amused because of programming problems. "How do you explain to a five year old that this year he won't get a Geoffrey birthday card from Toys" R "Us because the Toys" R "Us computer has no way of recognizing her birthday?" asked HSLYDB co-founder Raenell Dawn in 2008. The problem was resolved immediately.

. 8 Rapper Ja Rule is a leap day baby.

Different names: Springer Springer Twenty-nine and Baby of the leap day. (LDBs), people who were born on February 29 are in good company. In addition to Ja Rule, these people celebrate their birthday with baseball greats Pepper Martin and former Indian Prime Minister Morarji Desai.

. 9 A community on the border between Texas and New Mexico calls itself the “leap year capital of the world”.

Anthony, Texas and Anthony, New Mexico form the dividing line between their respective states. In 1988, Mary Ann Brown and Birdie Lewis proposed that Greater Anthony host a Worldwide Leap Year Festival on their birthday – for a few more leap years. At the parties there were parades, tours, dancing in the southwest and of course a birthday cake. Past Shindigs have attracted LDBs from around the world – along with thousands of other guests. According to the event website, they are still looking for a sponsor for 2020, so no details have been confirmed.

10th Film history was written on February 29, 1940.

At the 1940 Academy Awards, Hattie McDaniel's appearance as Mammy in Gone With The Wind was awarded the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress. She was the first African American to receive this award.

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