Frogs. Who doesn’t have a soft spot for the traditional Leap Day mascot?
The Leap Day Promise
The best thing about Leap Day is that it marks the coming end of winter white and gets us all thinking spring. The end of February and beginning of March is a time when most folks start feeling a little more hopeful. As we know from Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina, “Spring is the time of plans and projects.”
In other years, we experience the nudge on the 28th of February, or we experience it on the 1st of March depending on our personal inclinations. Whether we do so consciously or not, deep down inside us we start looking forward to better times to go along with better weather.
Leap Day – Good or Bad?
Leap Day coming only every four years as it does can be a fun thing — or it can be really annoying depending on who you are. A rare calendar day that only comes along once every four years, being born on leap day is both special good, and special bad. Folks born on Christmas, New Year’s Day, and other widely celebrated calendar days often feel a little ripped off — understandably. Leap day babies face even more challenges on the one truly personal ‘special’ day each of us is allotted in this life. After all, their birthday only truly exists once every four years.
Famous Leap Day Babies
Called ‘Leaplings’, Leap Day babies shared birthdays with some famous folks just like the rest of us. As for the the celebrities themselves — the get extra fame points for having been born on Leap Day. These are a few from the folks at timeanddate.com — and you can find a few more here, or surfing the net.
- 468 – Pope Paul III (d. 1549)
- 1792 – Gioacchino Rossini, Italian composer (William Tell, The Barber of Seville) (d. 1868)
- 1896 – Morarji Desai, former Indian prime minister (d. 1995)
- 1968 – Wendi Louise Peters, English television and theatre character actress
- 1916 – Dinah Shore, American singer (d. 1994)
- 1924 – Al Rosen, American baseball player
- 1924 – Carlos Humberto Romero, former president of El Salvador
- 1960 – Anthony (Tony) Robbins, American motivational speaker
- 1964 – Lyndon Byers, Canadian hockey player
- 1972 – Saul Stacey Williams, American singer, musician, poet, writer, and actor
- 1972 – Antonio Sabàto Jr, Italian-born actor
- 1976 – Ja Rule (real name Jeffrey Atkins), American rapper and actor
- 1980 – Chris Conley, American musician and songwriter/composer
What’s it like being a Leapling?
Imagine going through life forced into an existential debate about whether you identify with frigid February and the spring promises of March? Vox talked to a few leap day victims to find out how they feel, and one the pet peeves (aside from the corny ‘ You are younger than you look’ jokes, was forms. Think about it. We are increasingly security conscious — can you imagine how annoying it would be to constantly be red-flagged by a birth date that only apples every four years?? From drivers license woes to web form woes, leaplings don’t have it easy, so spare them a kind thought or two this leap day.
Why do we have leap day and leap years?
Trust math to mess us all up a little. Our current calendar system isn’t perfect, and replaced a calendar system even less perfect. Eventually some brilliant 5th grader might come up with a handy algorithm and app that will give us perfect new calendar system to mess with.
A complete orbit of the earth around the sun takes 365.2422 days to complete, but our Gregorian calendar uses 365 days. So leap seconds – and leap years – are added as a way to keep all our clocks (and calendars) in sync with the Earth and its seasons.
It is probably easier just to memorize Mother Goose’s children’s poem to keep it all straight. Too bad Mother Goose didn’t give us a nice little ditty to cover daylight savings time!
Good Bye Leap Day — Hello Spring!
Behind the scene the in the world of everyday local life, ordinary folks who work the land and those who bring that goodness to your table have already been gearing up for the seasons of plenty. Menus are being created that celebrate young spring greens, fresh cheeses, spring lamb and more. Microbreweries have dusting off spring berry brew recipes — and are anxiously watching the weather forecasts to get an idea of which berry crops are likely to yield the inspiration for new craft beer recipe brews. Just beyond the Ides of March on the 15th, on the calendar we find the next life affirming celebration — St. Patrick’s Day on the 17th.
St. Patrick’s Day is certainly known for wild and excessive drinking — but it wasn’t always that way. Food shared with good friends and family is always the heart of calendar celebrations. Get ready to celebrate the magic of spring harvests and all things Irish on the 17th. Stay tuned for the unfolding of the story of cuisine Irish — Beyond potatoes and Guinness — and get that foodie palate thinking about the tastes of spring.
If you think about it, Leap Day really is a little magical. How often have you wished you could find some ‘extra’ time. Have you ever said, “I need to make some time.’? Well, Leap Day is an ‘extra time’ day. So make some time to make a little Leap Day magic of your own — even if it only involves blocking off some self-care, family-care, and fun with friends blocks on your calendar!
Start searching out some fun … Check out our St. Patrick’s Day Food Tasting Event
Leap Day disappears in a flash, but you can keep those good vibes going. Don’t forget to laugh a little, and start thinking about filling up your 2016 spring and summer calendar with a little happy. You deserve it.
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