Everyone knows what the leap year is-- every four years, an extra day is added to February, taking the total number of days in the year from 365 to 366. However, not everyone knows the reason for the extra 24 hours.
Leaping Ahead To Stay On Track
To put it simply, the extra day every four years keeps our calendar in line with Earth’s movement around the sun. It actually takes earth slightly longer than 365 days to make it around the sun-- it’s a little closer to 365 and a quarter of a day! Since the extra 6 hours could add up as time goes on, we added an extra day every four years to keep us on track.
Because Leap Day is such a special day, through the years, people have developed all kinds of traditions to celebrate. One such custom is that Leap Day is a day for women to ask men to marry them, instead of the other way around. Another custom actually states that Leap Day is a bad day to get married, and in Greece, many still honor this superstition.
Leaping Into An Extra Day
These days, Leap Day is still special for many folks. After all, it’s not often you get an extra 24 hours to do whatever you want! Many folks around Williamson will be taking the day to appreciate the little things in life. Max Mounts, the co-founder of the Dirt Days ATV Festival, plans to spend his day appreciating nature by “riding in the hills of West Virginia, taking in all of God’s Glory.”
For others, Leap Day will be a day to spend with family. Kristin DeBoard, marketing and nutrition manager at Williamson Health and Wellness Center, will take her son on a college visit on Leap Day, and Chris Dotson, a content writer and local coordinator for Williamson Forward will spend most of the day with loved ones. “I’ll be spending most of my extra 24 with family and friends! On Leap Day, my nephew is competing in the Pinewood Derby competition being held at the South Side Mall for cub scouts. I’ll be there to cheer for him and his troop,” says Dotson.
For some, Leap Day will also be a day to stay healthy. Jerid Pyszkowski, one of the founders of the Rock 10K/5K Trail Run, is participating in a leap year run in Pikeville, Kentucky to celebrate the extra hours in his year.
Some folks will follow some classic Leap Day traditions. Linda VanHoose Henson, a retired social worker at Mingo County Schools, plans to write herself a letter detailing where she is at in 2020, to be opened next leap year, in 2024.
No matter what, Leap Day is a rare chance to indulge in some classic traditions, or spend some much-needed time with the people you love!