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A brief history of Feb. 29

A brief history of Feb. 29

The Egyptians were among the first to calculate the need for a leap year, and the practice didn't arrive in Europe until the reign of Julius Caesar.At the end of February, the 4 million people born Feb. 29 get to celebrate the actual day they were born – leap day. But, why the need for an extra day?

According to History.com, leap day is accounted for every four years to ensure our calendars stay in line with earth’s movement around the sun. While our modern calendar contains 365 days, the actual time it takes earth to orbit its star is slightly longer – about 365.2421 days.

While this difference may seem insignificant, over centuries it adds up. Without it, over time, we’d celebrate Christmas in July.