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Leap Year 2024: Why We Have Leap Days Every Four Years

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Leap Year 2024 Why We Have Leap Days Every Four Years

(CTN News) – This year, February has an extra day. It’s always the shortest month.

The shortest month is February, but we add a leap day every four years, and 2024 gets that extra day. The last leap year was 2020; there won’t be another one until 2028. A Leap Day baby is a famous Leap Day baby from Michigan who happens to be born on the day he was born.

Here’s how leap days got added to our calendar, when it falls, and everything else you need to know about it.

When is a leap year?

We get an extra day on Thursday, Feb. 29, 2024. After that, 2028 and 2032 are the next leap years.

Why do we have a leap year?

According to the National Aeronautics and Space Museum, a typical year is just under 365 days, more specifically, 5 hours, 48 minutes and 56 seconds. Hence, leap years… sort of. Because that extra 5 hours, 48 minutes, and 56 seconds add up.

This extra time would drift seasons, and summer would be in December if we don’t account for it.

A leap year isn’t every four years because of time shifts, so extra leap days are slightly shorter than 24 hours.

“A leap year doesn’t count if the year isn’t divisible by 400 and isn’t divisible by 100. A leap year is skipped in the year 2100, according to an article from the Smithsonian. “The year 2000 was a leap year, but 1700, 1800, and 1900 weren’t.”

How many Leap Day babies are there? When do they celebrate?

Birthdays on leap days don’t stop ageing.

Around 5 million people share Feb. 29 as a birthday and get called “leaplings”.

Birthdays during leap years are usually on February 28 or March 1.

Celebrities born on February 29

According to, many celebrities were born on Feb. 29, including Grand Rapids’ Lousma.

  • Rapper Ja Rule

  • Motivational speaker Tony Robbins

  • Mark Foster, lead singer of Foster the People (“Pumped Up Kicks,” “Sit Next to Me”)

  • Actor Peter Scanavino (“Law and Order: Special Victims Unit”)

  • Actor Antonio Sabato Jr. (“Melrose Place,” “General Hospital”)

  • Singer Dinah Shore

  • Actor Dennis Farina (“Law and Order”)

Why is February 29 a leap day?

According to, the decision to have a leap year in February dates back to Julius Caesar’s reforms to the Roman calendar.

The Roman calendar was based on a lunar system and had a year of 355 days, so Caesar adjusted it based on the Egyptian solar calendar. The adjustments led to the Julian solar calendar, including leap years.

The tradition of adding a leap day to February continued when the Julian calendar was refined into the Gregorian calendar in 1582.

Arsi Mughal is a staff writer at CTN News, delivering insightful and engaging content on a wide range of topics. With a knack for clear and concise writing, he crafts articles that resonate with readers. Arsi's pieces are well-researched, informative, and presented in a straightforward manner, making complex subjects accessible to a broad audience. His writing style strikes the perfect balance between professionalism and casual approachability, ensuring an enjoyable reading experience.

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