Most of the world follows the Gregorian calendar which is made up of 365 days. Every four years an extra day gives us a leap year.
Why do we have a leap year?
February 29 adds an additional 24 hours to the month, which is important in ensuring the dates don’t go out of sync.
One rotation of the Earth takes the Sun back to the same place in the sky, taking 24 hours, and is known as a solar day. However, the Earth’s full orbit takes 365.2422 days – and that is where our 365-day calendar falls short.
If a leap day wasn’t added, we could eventually end up braving the winter during what we know as the summer months.
People born on February 29 may be known as a ‘leap-ling’ or ‘leap-er’ and this year will actually be able to celebrate their birthdays on Leap Day, as opposed to the day before or after.
Leap years normally take place every four years, so the next leap day will be February 29, 2024. The next three leaps years after that will be in 2028, 2032 and 2036.