February 29, 2012

Leap Year Day Explained…(finally)


Self-portrait of comic illustrator, Al Capp - courtesy Wikipedia

Today is one of the non-holiday anomalies that makes people scratch their heads asking, “Why do we add an extra day to the year every four years?”

As aside, comic illustrator Al Capp (see insert) selected Leap Year Day in 1937 to be renamed Sadie Hawkins Day in Capp’s famous comic strip series titled Lil’ Abner. The gist behind the fictitious Sadie Hawkins Day is that it’s a sanctioned opportunity for women to chase down men every four years in an attempt to get a husband.

On Sadie Hawkins Day, in Lil’ Abner‘s made up town of Dogpatch,  if a woman catches an eligible bachelor and drags him to the finish line before sundown, he is obligated by law to marry her.

It’s a quaint little story that’s still played out in high school musicals across the country each year, and offers some folk lore texture to the non-holiday that is Leap Year Day.

For the actual reasons of how and why we NEED leap year day, here is a great explanation by the highly entertaining and always informative C.G.P. Grey.

Growing up I knew one kid who was actually born on leap year day – we always joked that while the rest of us were 12 years old he had an infantile chronological age of three (that still makes me chuckle today).

Question: How do you plan on not celebrating the non-holiday of Lear Year Day? 

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