Tree frog on a leaf for Leap Day

What is Leap Year anyway?

This article won't explain every nuance and historical fact of Leap Year. The reason you are reading this article at all is that Leap Day happens to be my birthday. I get asked, a lot, “What is Leap Year anyway?” Usually right after I have answered the “When is your birthday” question.

If we haven't met before, “Hi my name is Gael and I'm a leap year baby.” The next time you see me feel free to shake my hand and tell me who else you know who is a Leap Year baby.  I love hearing stories of others who share this day with me. I've only ever met a handful myself in my lifetime. And by “handful”, I mean like three, maybe.

When I was in school, every time I had a birthday I would be asked to give a presentation to my class, and as I got older a few other classes, explaining what leap day is. As a result, I have spent many hours researching, learning, and falling in love with the history of Leap Day. It doesn't help that I am a huge history nerd. This part of my personality fueled much of what you see in the Legacy Recorder today.

What is Leap Year?

selective focus photo of frog
Photo by Kelly Lacy on

Short version – it's how we account for the quarter of a day every 365 days it takes to go around the Sun. Every four years we add a day to the calendar to keep everything copacetic.

The Longer version – there are actually some complicated math rules because it isn’t exactly 6 hours a year, and if we had a leap year every 4 years we would eventually be in the future. You can see a simple explanation here.

What does this mean for you? 

Every 4 years or so, you’ll get some information about leap year and a chance to get to know me better. Look out for a Q and A blog coming soon! Why is this important? Because we are all beautiful individuals doing our best to make our way peacefully through the day and connections to each other drive our respect for one another. It is that deep respect that allows us to treat all ages of life with care as we seek community. 

As a birthday present to me, please ask an elder in your life about their favorite birthday memory. Need some prompts? Check this out for some simple ideas.

More about Leap Year

Here are some other articles that cover Leap Day historically and around the world

What now?

Looking for that thing to help you keep your storytellers engaged and talking? For the writer's in your care, this journal will keep them talking for a good long while. Encourage them (if they can) to reach out via phone or video to family members and share the memories they write about.

This journal was designed for storytellers in their sunset years who are ready to write about and share their memories. Simple to use and elegant enough to keep around to remind you of them long after they are gone.

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