By Adelaide Kari – EM TV News, Port Moresby
A leap year, where an extra day is added to the end of February every four years, is down to the solar system’s disparity with the Gregorian calendar.
A complete orbit of the earth around the sun takes exactly 365.2422 days to complete, but the Gregorian calendar uses 365 days.
So leap seconds – and leap years – are added as a means of keeping our clocks and calendars in sync with the Earth and its seasons.
Today at Saint Mary’s Hospital Port Moresby, two babies were born at exactly 1:30 PM today and joined other leapers around the world.
The chances of having a leap birthday are one in 1,461. People who are born on February 29 are referred to as “leaplings”, or “leapers”.
So how did the leap year in February begin?
All the other months in the Julian calendar have 30 or 31 days, but February lost out to the ego of Roman Emperor Caesar Augustus.
Under his predecessor, Julius Caesar, February had 30 days and the month named after him – July had 31. August had only 29 days.
When Caesar Augustus became Emperor he added two days to ‘his’ month to make August the same as July.
So February lost out to August in the battle of the extra days.