Rushin: Silly Questions Always Await Those with Leap Birthdays

Shelby Rushin, Reporter

Your birthday is a day that’s supposed to be celebrated and loved, but what if your birthday never came? Well, welcome to being born on the day that doesn’t exist: Feb. 29. 

“How old are you? Like, 3?”

“So when is your birthday exactly?”

“When can you get your license?”

All the questions, all the silly little questions, all the questions of curiosity to try and understand the day.

“If it’s my 18th ‘birthday’ then I’m 4 and a half.”

“I celebrate the 28th or the 1st.”

“I get my license at 16 just like everyone else.”

All the answers, all the silly answers, all the answers that just satisfy the curiosity just long enough to get off the topic of conversation. 

Getting into the science behind the day just takes too much time and everyone always gets confused, so I decided to do some research for you. Hang on, this is going to be a lot.

As it turns out, Julius Caesar was the one to recognize Leap Day in 43 BCE with the Julian calendar. Caesar recognized a discrepancy with the year and realized that the year isn’t a perfect 365 days.

(Side note: A full year is actually 365 days, 5 hours, 48 minutes, and 46 seconds.) 

Then, in 1582 when the Catholic Church and Pope Gregory XIII redid the calendar, they noticed that Caesar was off so they had to make some edits. However, they also made a mistake that they didn’t realize until 1752, when they had to skip 11 days in September to put the year back on track. 

If Leap Day was not added to the calendar then after a few decades the year would shift. Summer would be cold, winter would be hot, and people would be unable to grow crops and sustain life, which would be a big problem for humanity.

I know, a lot of information. I’m sorry, but I just had to get that out of the way. 

So in conclusion: Julius Caesar created it, messed up, Gregory took over in the church, redid the calendar, also messed up again, and it all magically fixed itself after having to skip a few days. 

Every civilization in history has worked around and added this day to their lives, and there are people who want to get rid of it now. 

“Why do we even have this day?”

“What’s the point? Why should I care?”

“If it’s gone, how would it affect me?”

All the complaints, all the silly little complaints, all the complaints about how a day every four years is an inconvenience for them. 

This may be just another boring day that is meaningless to you. But next time you want to complain about the day remember that without this day, the calendar would be chaos.