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Roman general Julius Caesar invented leap years. ©bigstockphoto.com

Lucky us – in 2016 we’re getting an extra 24 hours in the year.  Nearly every four years, a day is added to the calendar as a corrective measure, because the Earth does not orbit around the sun in precisely 365 days.

Roman general Julius Caesar implemented the first leap day in his Julian Calendar, which he introduced in 45 BCE (Before Common Era). A leap day was added every four years. At the time, leap day was February 24, and February was the last month of the year.  That calendar said any year divisible by four would be considered a leap year.  However, adding a leap day every four years was too often and eventually, in 1582, Pope Gregory XIII introduced the Gregorian Calendar. This calendar, which we still use today, has a more precise formula for calculating leap years.  There are three criteria that must be taken into account to identify leap years:

  • The year can be evenly divided by 4;
  • If the year can be evenly divided by 100, it is NOT a leap year, unless;
  • The year is also evenly divisible by 400. Then it is a leap year.

So mark your calendars for the years 2020, 2024, 2028 and 2032 as they all meet the criteria.

So I ask you, what are you going to do with your extra day?

Abbie S. Fink
Abbie S. Fink
Vice President/General Manager Abbie has been doing public relations her whole life…from organizing a picket line in 6th grade to organizing client communications today. She’s passionate about a lot of things, you’ll see. Check out Abbie's full bio

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