A look at how Leap Year evolved.
- The Earth’s journey around the sun takes longer than 365 days; in fact it takes exactly 365.2422 days for our planet to complete its yearly track.
- Many figures throughout history have spent a great deal of time trying to calculate how we can make up for our lost days.
- The ancient Egyptian civilization was the first to establish a leap year.
- In 238 B.C., King Ptolemy III introduced a leap month into their lunar calendar. The Egyptians did this by adding one month every three years.
- Around 45 B.C., Roman Emperor Julius Caesar adopted this concept for the Julian calendar. However, rumor has it that around 10 B.C. the priests assigned to computing the calendar were adding one day every three years, as opposed to every four.
- This caused leap years to discontinue until 8 A.D., and thereafter they occurred every four years.
- The Julian calendar continued to be used for over 15 centuries, despite its inaccuracy.
- In 1582 the Gregorian calendar, which is currently used almost worldwide, was introduced. To make the shift from the Julian to Gregorian system 10 days had to be dropped in October, because the Julian system was 13 days ahead of time because of its excessive adding of leap years.
- Great Britain, and the colony that would later be called The United States of America, did not adopt the Gregorian system until 1752. As a result 11 days had to be dropped instead of 10.
Source: http://scienceworld.wolfram.com; www.timeanddate.com/