When is the Next Leap Year?

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When is Leap Year? Find out the next Leap Day, how to calculate Leap Years, Leap Year folklore, and more!

A "Leap" Day is an extra day on February 29 which is added nearly every 4 years to today's Gregorian calendar.

How Do We Calculate Leap Years?

A year is a leap year if it is divisible by 4, but century years are not leap years unless they are divisible by 400.

So, the years 1700, 1800, and 1900 were not leap years, but the year 2000 was.

Non-leap years begin and end on the same day of the week.

Leap Year Dates

Year Leap Year Day
2012 Wednesday, February 29
2016 Monday, February 29
2020 Saturday, February 29
2024 Thursday, February 29

Why Do We Need Leap Years?

The actual length of a year (the revolution of Earth around the Sun) is 365.2422 days. If we didn't have leap years, the seasons would shift about a quarter of a day every year, and after 100 years the seasons would be off by 25 days. The extra leap day adjusts this drift.

Leap Year Folklore

According to folklore, in a leap year, the weather always changes on Friday.

"Leap year was ne'er a good sheep year" (old proverb)

A "leapling" is a person born in a leap year. Many feel that to be born on Leap Day, thereby becoming a "leapling," is a sign of good luck.

Did You Know: Ages ago, Leap Day was known as Ladies' Day, as it was the one day when women were free to propose to men.

Are Leap Years Bad Luck?

In some cultures, it is considered bad luck to marry during a leap year. We don't know of any evidence supporting this bad luck impression, but we do know that during leap years Rome burned (64), George Armstrong Custer fought the Battle of the Little Bighorn (1876), and the Titanic sank (1912). By the same token, also in leap years, the Pilgrims landed at Plymouth, Massachusetts (1620), Benjamin Franklin proved that lightning is electricity (1752), and gold was discovered in California (1848).

Do you have any Leap Year memories? Please share!

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Comments

I apologize in advance for

By JustCurious

I apologize in advance for any ambiguity.

"With this rule, 97 leap days are added every 400 years, which means the average length of year in the Gregorian calendar is 365.2425 days."

If the rule off 400 is applied to centuries, would that not leave 96 leap years in a 400 year period instead of 97?

e.g. 100/4 = 25

However, since 100 isn't divisible by 400 creating a whole number, wouldn't we say 24 leap days happen over a 100 year span?

e.g. 24 x 4 Centuries = 96 Leap Days over a 400 year period?

Hold on what u mean by

By Spongebobryan8

Hold on what u mean by something divisible by 400?

My cousin is 15 but really

By kayla

My cousin is 15 but really 3years old

Hi, who came up with the idea

By mboko

Hi, who came up with the idea of Leap Year, and that it should be in February and no other month like July? I understand that there are different days in each months are, 31, 28/29, 31, 30, 31, 30, 31, 31, 30, 31, 30, 31 days/month. Instead of a leap year, the days in August could be 31, then the series goes on......

August has have 31 days for

By Santiago Bergon

August has have 31 days for many many leap and common years

Well if this was in maybe

By Spongebobryan8

Well if this was in maybe let's say December then winter has 1 more day then should because winter is for however long Sumer fall and spring same so I'd winter gets it and somewhere else does then winter will be in next season time but feb is in spring and spring prob has that about .25 of the day so every 4 years that 1 day takes out the .25 for spring but if it's in fall then fall is to long and spring is to shor

Leap years do not occur every

By Almanac Staff

Leap years do not occur every year; this is why we can't just add an extra day to a month. The cycle of the seasons (or, a tropical year) is approximately 365.2422 days. Since a calendar year consists of an integral number of whole days, a calendar year cannot exactly match the tropical year. To align the current calendar with the seasons (and how the Earth orbits around the Sun), leap year rules were created. No system is perfect but that is the background.

John was born on Feb

By Rishabh Dixit

John was born on Feb 29happened to be a Wednesday. If he lives tobe 101 years old, how many birthdays would he celebrate on a Wednesday?

And they said there were no

By Bryan p

And they said there were no dumb questions.

My husband and I's

By Asher4467

My husband and I's anniversary is Feb 29th. So far we have gotten to celebrate it on the actual date 2 times almost 3 ;) When we don't have a leap year we celebrate the day before and the day after. This year is our 10 year mark and I love him more and more each day!!

I heard an old saying that

By U.N Owen

I heard an old saying that being born on Feb. 29 means you will live longer. Is their any truth behind this?

We aren't aware of studies on

By Almanac Staff

We aren't aware of studies on this. It could be that the saying may have come about because if one only counts a person's age as the number of official birthday dates that s/he passes over the years, then a person born on leap day will not have as many birthdays as others, and therefore will be "younger" and have a longer time to reach old age. For example, someone 100 years old in normal reckoning, might be only have lived through 24 or so leap days, so might also be considered as being in his/her 20s.

Hi there - How many weeks are

By Carrol Nichols

Hi there - How many weeks are there till the next leap year in 2016?

I never realized that the

By Grant Walton

I never realized that the century years not divisible by 400 were not leap years. Thanks for the new info, like where have I been!? Please explain how our calendar adjusts for this. I thought that our calendar required a leap EVERY 4 years to stay in sync. Anxious for your reply. Thanks, Grant

The tropical year

By Almanac Staff

The tropical year (essentially, the cycle of seasons, or how long it takes the Earth to orbit around the Sun) is about 365.2422 days long (rounded up to nearest ten thousandth). The Gregorian calendar is usually 365 days long. To compensate for the "0.2422" day (slightly under a quarter of a day each year) to keep in tune with the seasons, the calendar adds a "leap" day every four years, except when century years are not divisible by 400. With this rule, 97 leap days are added every 400 years, which means the average length of year in the Gregorian calendar is 365.2425 days.

The skipping of certain centuries helps to keep the calendar more in step with the tropical year. Although 365.2425 is still a bit ahead of the tropical year, it won't be out of step a full day until about 3300 years.

If we didn't have this extra "divisible by 400" rule, the average year in the Gregorian calendar would be 365.25 days instead of 365.2425, which means the calendar would even more quickly become out of step by a day with the tropical year (in about 128 years).

Why does leap year have to be

By Anonymous13

Why does leap year have to be every 4 years

We answered this question

By Almanac Staff

We answered this question above. See "Why Do We Need Leap Years?"

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