Milissent Nickerson

Written by Milissent Nickerson

Modified & Updated: 19 Jul 2024

Jessica Corbett

Reviewed by Jessica Corbett


Leap years are fascinating and mysterious occurrences that only happen once every four years. These additional days in the calendar have their origins in the need to keep our calendars in sync with the Earth’s orbit around the sun. Leap years not only impact our daily lives but also hold a rich history and many interesting facts. In this article, we will explore 18 leap year facts that will surely pique your curiosity. From the reasoning behind the extra day to the traditions and superstitions associated with leap years, get ready to dive into the intriguing world of leap years and uncover some fun and surprising information. So let’s leap right in and discover the secrets behind these extraordinary calendar events!

Key Takeaways:

  • Leap Year occurs every four years to balance the calendar and add an extra day to February. It’s a special event that helps keep our calendar in sync with the solar year.
  • People born on Leap Day celebrate their birthdays on February 28th or March 1st in non-Leap Years. It’s a unique tradition that adds to the excitement of Leap Year.
Table of Contents

Leap Year occurs every four years.

Leap Year, also known as intercalary year, happens once every four years to keep our calendar in sync with the solar year.

The purpose of Leap Year is to balance the calendar.

By adding an extra day, February 29th, to the calendar, Leap Year helps to adjust the misalignment between the solar year and the calendar year, which is 365 days.

Leap Year is a result of the Earth’s orbit around the Sun.

It takes the Earth approximately 365.25 days to complete one orbit around the Sun. To account for this extra fraction of a day, Leap Year is introduced.

February has 29 days in a Leap Year.

The month of February normally has 28 days, but during a Leap Year, it gains an extra day, making it 29 days long.

Leap Years are divisible by 4.

A year must be divisible evenly by 4 to qualify as a Leap Year. However, there is an exception to this rule which we will discuss in the next fact.

Centuries are not considered Leap Years, unless…

While most Leap Years occur every four years, there is an exception for centuries. A year that is divisible by 100 is not a Leap Year, unless it is also divisible by For example, the year 1900 was not a Leap Year, but the year 2000 was.

Leap Years have 366 days.

Due to the additional day in February, Leap Years have a total of 366 days instead of the usual 365 days.

The concept of Leap Year dates back to ancient times.

The ancient Egyptians and Romans recognized the need for a Leap Year to maintain a consistent calendar.

February 29th is considered Leap Day.

The additional day added to February is known as Leap Day. It is a rare day that only occurs once every four years.

Leap Years can affect the day of the week certain events fall on.

Leap Year can shift the day of the week for holidays, birthdays, and other significant dates. For example, if your birthday falls on a Monday, it will be on a Tuesday in the next Leap Year.

Leap Year babies have special birthday celebrations.

People born on Leap Day often celebrate their birthdays on either February 28th or March 1st in non-Leap Years.

Anthony, Texas and Anthony, New Mexico are known as the “Leap Year Capitals.”

These neighboring cities engage in festive celebrations and attract tourists to commemorate February 29th.

18 Leap Year Facts can make for a great trivia night.

Impress your friends with fun facts about Leap Year and test their knowledge with a quiz!

Leap Year proposals have a tradition.

In several cultures, it is believed that women can propose to men on Leap Day. This tradition is said to have originated in Ireland.

Famous events happened on Leap Day.

Leap Day has witnessed historical events such as Christopher Columbus sighting the Americas in 1493 and the founding of the Houston Electric Company in 1912.

Some people celebrate Leap Year by taking on new challenges.

Leap Year is seen as an opportunity to embrace change, set goals, and try new experiences.

Leap Year is associated with Leap Seconds.

Similar to Leap Year, Leap Seconds are added to Coordinated Universal Time (UTC) to compensate for variations in the Earth’s rotation.

Enjoy the extra day of Leap Year!

Make the most out of this bonus day by doing something special or taking a leap of faith towards your goals.


Leap years are fascinating and full of interesting facts. From the extra day added to the calendar to keep our calendars in sync with the Earth’s orbit to the traditions and superstitions associated with leap years, there is much to learn and explore. Whether you use the extra day to celebrate, reflect, or simply enjoy an additional 24 hours, leap years offer a unique opportunity to appreciate the intricacies of timekeeping. So next time a leap year rolls around, take a moment to ponder the significance of that extra day, and embrace the chance to make the most of this rare occurrence.


Q: What is a leap year?

A: A leap year is a year that has one additional day, February 29th, making it 366 days instead of the usual 365 days.

Q: Why do we have leap years?

A: Leap years are necessary to keep our calendar in line with the Earth’s orbit around the sun, which takes about 365.25 days.

Q: How often do leap years occur?

A: Leap years occur every four years, with a few exceptions. Years that are divisible by 100 are not leap years unless they are also divisible by 400.

Q: Are there any traditions or superstitions associated with leap years?

A: Yes, there are various traditions and superstitions related to leap years. One common belief is that women can propose marriage to men on Leap Day, February 29th. Another superstition suggests that it is bad luck to be born on a leap day.

Q: What are some famous events that have occurred on leap day?

A: Some notable events that have happened on leap day include the opening of Disneyland in California in 1956, the first IBM Personal Computer being released in 1981, and actress Lupita Nyong’o winning an Oscar for Best Supporting Actress in 2014.

Leap years are a fascinating phenomenon that helps keep our calendars in sync with Earth's orbit around the Sun. If you're curious to learn more about when leap years occur and what years are considered leap years, we've got you covered. Our comprehensive list of leap years provides a handy reference for past and future occurrences of this extra day in February. Additionally, if you're wondering when the next leap year will be, we have that information readily available for you. Satisfy your curiosity and expand your knowledge about this unique aspect of our calendar system.

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