Sunday, February 28, 2016

Leap Year

February has 29 days this year, which means that spring is one day further away. The moon doesn't rotate to our calendar's specifications, it takes about four minutes longer than 24 hours so every four years an extra day is inserted in the calendar to bring man made and nature created into balance for at least four minutes.
   Not bad, Leap Years also adds an extra Sunday to the calendar so we have 53 Sundays instead of 52 to sit around and codger up vitally important things to write about that will add enlightment to the world and maybe a chuckle or two. Enjoy the extra day of rest thanks to a slow moon that can't keep up with us.
   Years that can be divided evenly by four are leap years except turn of the century years, which must be divided evenly by 400, hence 2000 was a leap year, but 2100 will not be. It's a shock to realize that a few who are born this year may be around to celebrate the turn of the next century.

   Do you remember Sadie Hawkin's events from your high school days? Sadie was a character from the Dogpatch cartoon strip drawn by the late Al Capp. She couldn't get a man to ask her out so she'd ask them. Let me tell you about her multiple greats-grandmother. This is the way the Irish tell it.
   "St. Bridget complained to St. Patrick that women could not propose marriage, so he permitted them to have this privilege on one day in one year out of every four. When St. Bridget proposed to him, however, he turned her down and gave her a silk gown as a consolation present. Until the 19th century in Britian, a man was obliged to give a silk gown to any lady whose marriage proposal he refused in Leap Year."
   From a woman's point-of-view, I'd say the custom would be an excellent way to acquire a decent wardrobe. Nash put in that the handsome, popular guys had better have deep pockets to afford many refusals.
   That's it you all, when you run out of scientific information to say about Leap Year the dubious history will fill the space.
   Thanks to Kay & Marshall Lee, The Illuminated Book of Days, illustrated by Kate Greenway, c. 1979, p. 213 for the quote as to where a girl asking the guy on Leap Year originated.

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