Leap Year only comes around once every four years, and its occurrence is purely for astronomical reasons. Here’s why. One Earth year, or a complete orbit around the sun, actually takes 365.2422 days. To solve the orbital issues during the time of Julius Caesar, people observed a 355-day year with an extra 22-day month every two years. This solution created problems with certain holidays being celebrated in the wrong seasons. Thankfully, a cool dude named Sosigenes came along and proposed a 365-day year with an extra day every four years. Say hello to February 29th.
While there is something about bickering between Roman Emperors and a ton of math that goes into why Leap Day is on February 29th, we won’t get into that. Although it might only be an astronomically necessary day, that doesn’t mean you can’t celebrate Leap Day like any other holiday. Here are a few celebration ideas!
Have your children write letters to themselves to open next Leap Year.
Four years is a long time to grow as a child. Consider your four-year-old writing a letter to their eight-year-old self. Or even a high school sophomore writing a letter to their college freshman self. It’s an interesting way to show your children how much they grow over the years.
Set life achievement goals for the next five Leap Years.
Yep, that’s the next 20 years. Use your Leap Day thinking of what you want to accomplish over the next 20 years. Write a letter for each hopeful accomplishment to open on each of the following five Leap Days.
Make a Leap Year collage.
Gather all of your memories from the beginning of the year and arrange them into a collage. Leave room for the rest of the year then pack it away to pull out next Leap Year. You could even do a collage of current events to look back on four years from now.
Give your kids a history lesson.
Use Leap Day to teach your children why we have an extra day every four years. Include some facts like there only a 1 in 1,461 chance of being born on this day.
Leap into spring.
Celebrate spring a few weeks early by tackling those major cleaning projects, like the basement or the attic. These are things that can be done every four years and it makes for a fun and clean tradition for the family.
Throw a Leap Day party!
Have your favorite friends and family over for an awesome time! Serve food that leaps like jumping beans and rabbit stew. Then again, maybe you should stick with party dips and chips.
Dance to a Jump Song.
A little play on words is fun! Turn your Leap Day into a leap dance with jump themed music. We personally recommend “Jump” by Kriss Kross. Because if you don’t, it’ll be wiggity, wiggity, wiggity whack.
Irish tradition states that a woman can propose to a man on Leap Day. According to legend, the tradition was established by some royal man in the 5th century after some important lady complained about the process of proposal. We are sure all women were thrilled with his solution. While we are firm believers that women can propose to whomever they want whenever they want, it would still be a cute gesture. Plus, it would make for a great story!
Watch “Leap Year”.
If you think the entire tradition of women only being allowed to propose on Leap Day is ridiculous, we have a better option. Watch Amy Adams do it! Even if you just watch the movie for the accents and landscape, it’s worth viewing on the day it is named after.
Can you think of more ways to celebrate Leap Day? Let us know in the comments!