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Lifestyle

This is a "leap year", but do you know what would happen if we didn't have February 29th once every 4 years?

This is a "leap year", but do you know what would happen if we

By now we are used to hearing that the Earth takes 365 days to complete its rotation, but it actually takes 365 days and a quarter. Leap years help the 12-month calendar coincide with the movement of our planet around the Sun.

After 4 years, the remaining hours make up a full day. In a leap year, we add this day to the month of February making it 29 days out of 28.

The idea started in ancient Rome where people used a calendar with 355 days out of 365 because they based it on the cycles and phases of the moon. They noticed that the calendar was not matching the seasons so every two years they added a month they called Mercedonius to make up the days.

In 45 BC, the Roman emperor Julius Caesar introduced the solar calendar that was based on an Egyptian model. Every 4 years, a day was added to February to coincide with the Earth's revolution around the Sun. In honor of Caesar, the system is still known as the Julian calendar.

But over time people realized that the rotation of the Earth did not last 365.25 days but 365.24219 days or 11 minutes less. So adding a full day every 4 years was an overcorrection.

In 1582, Pope Gregory XIII signed an order making a minor adjustment. The leap year would continue every 4 years except in "centennial" or 100-proportional years like 1700 or 2100, unless they were also proportional to 400. It seems a little difficult, but this settled the system we still use today. , the Gregorian calendar.

But what would happen if there was no leap year? For starters, it wouldn't match the seasons. This could cause the solstices and equinoxes to occur at a different time than expected.

Winter could occur during the period that the calendar would show as the summer season and this would confuse farmers as they would not know when to plant the seeds.

Other calendars use their own methods. The Jewish calendar that works through the solar and lunar system has a 19-year cycle. The Islamic calendar follows the phases of the moon and does not add days. The lunar year is only 355 days long and important dates in the Islamic calendar are moved 10-11 days earlier each year in the solar calendar.