Leap Day is today and that will mean business as usual as most of us will spend our “extra” day at work, perhaps billing more hours or selling more widgets potentially increasing profits for 1st quarter. So in honor of Leap Day, I did a little research. Leap Years were introduced over 2,000 years ago with the transition from the Roman Calendar to the Julian Calendar in 45 BCE (Before Common Era).
It used to be that this extra day would cause havoc on systems dependent on date tracking, such as payroll. However, now the occurrence of a Leap Year is handled easily by our sophisticated systems which have adjusted 2012 to have 52 weeks and 2 extra days, as compared to other years which have 52 weeks plus 1 extra day. This year that translates into an extra Sunday and Monday in December. If your payday falls on either of those days, depending on your pay cycle you could get an extra check in 2012. Don’t get too excited – your pay rate will remain the same.
Ever since Leap Years were first introduced, there have been age-old Leap Day tradition and folklore. So just for fun, I’ve included some of those folk traditions:
- Listen up, women: In the British Isles, it is a tradition that women may propose marriage only on Leap Years (so you have all year – not just one day)! Supposedly a 1288 law by Queen Margaret of Scotland required that fines be levied if a marriage proposal was refused by the man.
- In many European countries, it is said that if a man refuses a woman’s proposal on Leap Day he has to give her 12 pairs of gloves. By wearing gloves, the woman can hide the embarrassment of not having an engagement ring.
- However, if you are in Greece, marriage in a Leap Year is considered unlucky. Apparently this is taken to heart as one in every five engaged couples in Greece will plan to avoid getting married in a Leap Year.
If you are lucky enough to be born on Leap Day, you may be referred to as a “leapling” or a “leaper”. As such, you are invited to join The Honor society of Leap Year Day Babies where everyone can legitimately underestimate their age as they celebrate fewer birthday anniversaries than the rest of us.
Sources: Wikipedia, Time and Date.com, Wall Street Journal
Wall Street Journal