Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Leap Year Blog Hop

Hi everyone!

I have one last blog hop of the season that I’m participating in...I won’t be doing any more for about six months...three in one month is enough for anyone. LOL! I hope you’ll love this one as well.

There are ten blogs to visit and comment on. Ten places to get prizes and find some new authors. The blog starts at the Marketing for Romance Writers Blog where it lists all the participants of the blog. I’ve listed them all at the end of the blog just in case you missed the first stop. First, I want to talk about the significance of this day.

A leap year, also known as an intercalary or bissextile year, is one that contains an additional day. All other years are called common years. This extra day is to keep the calendar year synchronized with astronomical year. Since seasons and astronomical events do not repeat in whole number of days, a calendar that had the same every year would over time, drift with respect to the event it was supposed to track.

In our current calendar, called the Gregorian calendar, most of the years divisible by 4 are leap years. Leap years add the extra day to February thus giving it 29 days instead of the usual 28. Adding the extra day to the calendar every four years compensates for the fact that our year of 365 days is shorter than a solar year by almost 6 hours.

Of course, as with anything there are some exceptions to the rule because the solar year is slightly less than 365 ¼ days. Years that are evenly divisible by 100 aren’t leap years unless they are also evenly divisible by 400 which makes them an end-of-the-century leap year. Wikipedia, where most of this information comes from, lists the years that were leap years and end-of-the-century leap years. They also show the various different algorithyms necessary to calculate this additional time. Even with these precise calculations, it is thought that every 8,000 years the calendar will be one day behind where it is now and can’t be accurately calculated because the vernal equinox will have changed some amount that cannot be predicted with any precision. Suffice it to say that our current calendar works for practical purposes.

Our Gregorian calendar is a modification of the Roman calendar, or Julian calendar, used by the Romans. It was based upon on even older calendar known as the lunisolar calendar whose many days were named after moon events. The Julian calendar was developed by Julius Caesar in 46 BC and implemented the next year and thought to be in use until 450 AD. Again, this system seems to be arduous and should be studied extensively if one is writing about that period. Other calendars, such as the Hebrew and Chinese, have very convoluted thoughts on when and how a leap year should be integrated into their date system. Suffice it to say, this stuff could fill a lifetime of study.

Folk traditions have sprung up over time in regards to this most sacred day. On the British Isles, it is tradition that a woman may propose marriage during leap years. The claims of exactly who started the tradition are dubious at best. Some think that St. Patrick or Brigid of Kildare initiated it in 5th century Ireland. Others think that Queen Margaret of Scotland in 1288 decreed that any man who refused such a proposal would be fined in order to soften the blow. Other places tightened the tradition by restricting female proposals to the leap day itself. In Denmark, women can propose on February 24, which is the bissextile leap year day, and be compensated with 12 pairs of gloves if refused. In Finland, the man must purchase fabric for a skirt if refusing. In Greece, marriage in a leap year is considered very unlucky and most Greeks avoid getting married during a leap year.

People who are born on February 29th can be called a leapling or a leaper. Birthday celebrations during the non-leap years can be done on February 28th or March 1st depending upon where that person is born. So, as you can see, while the addition of a leap day is based upon the science of time, there are many traditions and thoughts on getting it done correctly.

Listed below are the different blogs that are hosting MFRW’s Leap Year Blog Hop. Please stop by and show each of them some love and affection on this very special day that only comes once a year. I am giving away a $20 gift certificate to either Amazon on ARe as well as a copy of my indie short, A Lover for Rachel. The winner will be chosen from those commenting on the blog on February 29th only. Said winner will be notified of the win on March 1st. When commenting, PLEASE, don’t forget to include an email addy so I can get hold of you should you win. Your email address will NOT be used for any other purposes without your permission.

Marketing for Romance Writers Blog

Amber Kallyn
Paranormal & Erotic romance
1 e-copy (PDF) of Dragos Burned by Amber Kallyn

Barbara Edwards
Barbara Edwards Comments
ebook copy of Ancient Blood awarded to one lucky commenter

Meredith Ellsworth (M. S. Spencer)
M. S. Spencer ~ Tale Spinner
1 of my four romantic suspense M/F releases, Lost in His Arms, Lost & Found, Losers Keepers or Triptych

Juliette Springs
Juliette Speaks
Paranormal Romance Paperback Pack (three books)

Wendy Soliman
Confessions of a Writer
Copy of my contemporary romance ebook - A Class Apart

Rachel Haimowitz
Fantasy Unbound
An e-copy of each of my first-in-series titles: Counterpoint (Song of the Fallen #1), Anchored (Belonging #1), and Master Class (Master Class #1)

Janice Seagraves
Janice Seagraves
Pukka Shell Necklace

Lynn Crain
Lynn Crain’s XtraOrdinary Romance
Copy of my indie short, A Lover for Rachel, and a $20 gift certificate from Amazon or ARe, winner's choice

R. Ann Siracusa
It's The Journey That Counts
First two ebooks of the Tour Director Extraordinaire series and a free critique of the first 50 pages of an unpublished novel.

Thanks for dropping by today and hope to see you back real soon!



  1. LOL, Lynn! Thanks for the info on Leap years and Leap days! Hope you're having a good one--thanks for celebrating it with us :)

    f dot chen at comcast dot net

  2. Thank you for the history. It was very interesting and the first I had heard of some of it. Thanks for the drawing and for participating as well.

  3. Wow! I had no idea the calendar situation was so complicated! .....I guess I just take a lot of things for granted and don't think about how they come about. I kinda like the tradition in Denmark and Finland but I don't know that I'd put off a wedding like they do in Greece for a whole year because of the leap year thing.

    Thanks for the giveaway!

    junegirl63 at gmail dot com

  4. Bissextile is my word of the day. Now I'll have to try to find a way to slip it into conversation.

    I wonder in olden times if women proposed to more than one man on the big day to get a lot of fabric and shoes. Sounds like a great deal if you weren't very marriageable.

  5. Dropping by to show Leap Year Love. ^_^ not entering, just enjoying the cool reads.

  6. Hi Lynn!

    Happy Leap Day! I love the folk traditions that surround the day/year...very interesting! :)


  7. Very interesting read. I've read/heard some of that before and it still makes my eyes cross. At least someone has it straight. ;) Thanks for the giveaway!

    menina.iscrazy @

  8. Great fun facts, Lynn. I only knew one family growing up that had twin girls born on the 29th. Makes me wonder if their lives were particularly lucky.

    caity_mack at yahoo dot com

  9. Wow! I had no idea that leap years and leap days were actually so complicated! Thanks for the info and for the great giveaway!!
    Ashley A

  10. That was so interesting! I've read a lot today about leap year, but yours was the first about the calendar. Thanks so much for joining the blog hop. Pam

  11. It is a fascinating subject. I did wonder why we needed to have the extra day.


  12. I've never been interested in knowing why the leap year. Thanks for the explanation.