Just realised 2008 is a leap year!
A leap year is a year with one extra day inserted into February. The leap year is 366days with 29 days in February as opposed to the normal 28 days.
In the Gregorian calendar, which is the calendar used by most modern countries, the following rules decide which years are leap years:
1. Every year divisible by 4 is a leap year.
2. But every year divisible by 100 is NOT a leap year
3. Unless the year is also divisible by 400, then it is still a leap year.
This means that year 1800, 1900, 2100, 2200, 2300 and 2500 are NOT leap years, while year 2000 and 2400 are leap years. This actually means year 2000 is kind of special, as it is the first time the third rule is used in many parts of the world.
Leap years are needed so that the calendar is in alignment with the earth's motion around the sun. Using a calendar with 365 days would result in an error of 0.2422 days or almost 6 hours per year. After 100 years, this calendar would be more than 24days ahead of the seasons (tropical year), which is not a desirable situation. It is desirable to align the calendar with the seasons, and make the difference as small as possible.
By adding leap years approximately every 4th year, this difference between the calendar and the seasons can be reduced significantly, and the calendar will follow the seasons much more closely than without leap years.
So should I be happy or sad that this year is a leap year?
I dont know!
Sad, because it means one extra day of the school year, where I will have to nag and cajole my kids to do their homework. One extra day of house work to do.
Happy, because I have one extra day to enjoy my kids and hubby. One extra day of life. After all, life is short. We should thank God for that one extra day!
Hey, every 29th of Feb should be declared a holiday, dont you agree?