Today we mark Page 1 of 366 days of the year 2020. Isn’t it amazing that we get an additional day in 2020 as it’s a leap year!
Yes, you read it right! For this year, the days will be 366 days instead of 365 days.
Good News Pilipinas takes on 2020 and celebrates the extra day of positivity as we deliver more stories of positive action, triumphs, and inspiration for Filipinos and the Philippines.
Let’s find out what is a leap year and how it is being calculated.
What is a leap year?
Nearly every four years, February 29 is added as the extra day which makes the year a Leap Year. This addition makes our calendar aligned correctly with the astronomical seasons, for a year according to the Gregorian calendar (365 days) and a year according to Earth’s orbit around the Sun (approximately 365.25 days) are not the exact same length of time. Without this extra day, our calendar and the seasons will not happen together at the same time and it will cause confusion, says Old Farmers Almanac.
“It all comes down to the fact that the number of Earth’s revolutions about its own axis, or days, is not equal to or connected in any way to how long it takes for the Earth to get around the sun,” says John Lowe, leader of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)’s Time & Frequency Division, in a National Geographic feature.
In ancient times, earlier Egyptians and other communities from China to Rome once used the Lunar Calendar to keep track of time. But lunar months average 29.5 days and years to result in only about 354 days, so there has been an 11-day lag that caused them to drift well out of sync with the seasons.
“When the Egyptians adopted this calendar they were aware that there was a problem, but they didn’t add any more days to the calendar,” says Lowe. “They just added an extra five days of festivals, of partying, at the end of the year.”
There are other ancient calendars, dating to the Sumerians 5,000 years ago, which simply divided the year into 12 months of 30 days each which was nearly a week shorter.
That is why most modern countries have adopted the Gregorian calendar and its leap year system to allow days and months to stay in step with the seasons.
“We’ve made a calendar that comes close,” Lowe says, “but to make it work you have to do these leap day tricks that have some quirky rules.”
How is Leap Year calculated?
Timaanddate notes that in the Gregorian calendar, three criteria must be taken into account to identify leap years:
- The year can be evenly divided by 4;
- If the year can be evenly divided by 100, it is NOT a leap year;
- Unless the year is also evenly divisible by 400, then it is a leap year.
Let’s make the most of the 366 days of 2020!
TELL US in the comments below what you want to do with the extra day this 2020?
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