US

Leap year - are you excited?

US
By Bushra Majid
Fri, 02, 20

Don’t go blaming yourself. It just means that a day is added to the month of February every four years....

INTROSPECTION

For those of you who think time is running fast and there is never enough of it to get things done, well I have some good news: you have 24 more hours in your hand this year! How? You may ask me as if I were some magician making extra hours and handing it over. Well, I would love to be able to do that, but no! Think about it. How could it be possible? Yes, you have got it. 2020 is a leap year. I know 24 hours seem not very much, but for me even this additional day weighs a lot.

If you don’t know what a leap year is, it’s perfectly fine. Don’t go blaming yourself. It just means that a day is added to the month of February every four years to synchronize it with the seasonal or astronomical calendar as these events do not take place in a whole number of days. Precisely, it takes 365 days, 5 hours, 48 minutes and 45 seconds for Earth to go about the Sun and not having a leap year means that after 100 years our calendars would be off by 25 days. Now another thing that comes to mind is the reason for calling it a “leap” year. Turns out it’s a no brainer, too. It is called so because the days that follow the extra day, that is the 29th of February, leap by two and not one day of the week as happens in common years.

Let me show you a cool way to find if a year is/was a leap year or not. If it is evenly divisible by 4, you have found your leap year and if not divisible by 4 then it’s not a leap year. Also, every 100 years, a leap year is skipped unless it is divisible by 400.

The chance of you being born on a leap year is 1 in 1461. Growing up, I was always confused how people who came into this world on February 29 dealt with the dilemma of celebrating their birthdays. Did they have it every once in four years or more accurately, once in a blue moon? To me, having to wait that long for presents felt scary and I was grateful I did not have my birthday on February 29. Later, I came to know that they did celebrate their birthdays each year like everyone else on March 1, but the one that falls on a leap year is celebrated as a grand one which made me envious of them.

Did you know that an old Irish tradition allows women to propose for marriage as good luck? I had no clue whatsoever until I watched the 2010 romantic movie “Leap Year” starring Amy Adams and Matthew Goode. If you haven’t watched it yet, please do.

This year, 29 February will fall on Saturday. I know it’s a weekend and you might spend it like any other weekend, but take my advice and be productive. Complete any pending task, meet someone you haven’t in a while or set up a goal that excites you enough to put it into action but never scare yourself to not dare and take an initiative. At least do not sit around the whole day because you know what they are saying, nowadays? They say that “sitting” is the new “smoking”! It simply means idleness is worse for health than smoking. Be productive and inspire others, too. Ending on a bright note by wishing a very happy birthday to all those who will be celebrating because, after all, you have waited four years!