Year 2016 is a Leap Year, meaning there is an additional day every four (4) years and in the month of February, therefore every leap year February extends until the 29th from the usual 28 days.
|photo not mine. credits to owner|
But why do we have Leap Years?
Let me explain, based also on my short research.
Basically, a leap year or an additional day
in a year is actually a corrective measure to synchronize the calendar year to
the seasonal year. In astronomy, a year
is the Earth’s orbit period around the sun, which takes 365.25 days (31 557 600
seconds to be exact), while Gregorian calendar, our current standard calendar uses
365 days. That means Gregorian calendar falls short of .25 day, thus, to
compensate the .25 day short, 1 day (equivalent to 4 of .25day) is added every
4 years to harmonize it to the Sun’s apparent position.
|cute Google Doodle|
What would have happened if we have continued using the 365 days only all throughout? Well, the seasons will also change in the future. There will come a time that summer will probably fall in December, and winter in June or July, days and seasons will fall out of sync.
Therefore, a leap year has 366 days and February 29th is called the leap day just like today.
|photo not mine. credit to owner|
Why of all the months in the year, February is the chosen one where a leap day is added? And why does February only have 28 days during the common year?