Thirty days has September, April, June and November…
I can’t remember exactly how the rest goes, but basically it says the rest have 31 except for February – it takes a little bit more explanation.
February has 28 days except for every fourth year when the 29th, known as Leap Day, is added to right some wrongs.
The extra day added to the calendar every four years is there to get aligned with the astronomical year, which is a little less than 365 1/4 days.
The creation of the leap year and extra day has been credited to Julius Caesar, who reformed the Roman calendar in 45 BC to make it a consistent solar calendar. Because it is difficult to have a quarter day every year, the full day was added every fourth year.
Leap Day has always been interesting to me, especially when it comes to someone being born on that day.
My mom happens to have been born on February 28 of a leap year. When we were talking about it earlier this month, I asked her if she realized that if she wasn’t so impatient to be born, she could have been a Leap baby and would be turning 19 this year.
She said, “Yeah I know,” adding that, coincidentally, she had a classmate who was born on Leap Day. While I don’t know her, I can all but guarantee she was the youngest person in the class.
While we were talking about it, so many questions arose. If this woman is really only going to be 19 this year, how was she able to get a driver’s license? Was she allowed to register to vote? And don’t get me started on the age gap between her and her boy-friends.
After a little research, I’ve come to the conclusion that the government doesn’t take Leap Day all that seriously. Although those born on February 29 technically can’t celebrate their real birthday every year, they do, in fact, age every year.
So they have no problem getting a driver’s license or registering to vote or any of the other opportunities that might come with their age.
Many traditions have been linked to Leap Day and are celebrated on the special occasion. Those born on the day are invited to join The Honor Society of Leap Year Day Babies.
One of the most well-known traditions, thanks to the 2010 film “Leap Year,” starring Amy Adams and Matthew Goode, is that women can propose to their boyfriends on Leap Day.
It originated from an old Irish legend that St. Brigid struck a deal with St. Patrick to allow women to propose to men, albeit only every four years.
In some European countries, if a man declines the proposal, he must pay a penalty, whether it be money or a gown, or even 12 pairs of gloves. The gloves are for the woman to hide her embarrassment of having a naked left ring finger.
On the other hand, Scotland and Greece both see Leap Day and Leap Year as unlucky. Scotland considers it unlucky to be born on that day, much like being born on Friday the 13th, whereas the Greeks find it unlucky for couples to marry during a Leap Year, especially on Leap Day.
Now I remember the rest of the saying…
“All the rest have thirty-one;
Save February – the shortest one.
Twenty-eight is all it stores,
Till Leap Year gives it one day more.”