(CBS) — You don’t often get a day like today. February 29 only comes around once every four years in a leap year. As CBS 2’s Vince Gerasole reports it might hold the secret to staying forever young.
At Walker School in Clarendon Hills they have a pretty young second grader.
Amelia Carter’s been around 8 years. Born on a Leap Day, February 29, this is only her second official birthday.
“I’m like I’m one but now I’m turning two and they’re like ‘Amelia’s two years old,’” she said.
Amelia says she usually celebrates her birthday on the 28th and today in her lunch, her mom, “gave me my favorite cookie”.
Do why do we need a leap year in the first place? Apparently we are moving a little bit faster than you think it takes the earth 365 and a quarter days to circle the sun so every four years we have to add an extra day like all sorts of things will be out of sync like the seasons.
You can blame Julius Caesar for the practice. He started the practice back in 45 B.C.E.
February 29, especially in Ireland, is known as Bachelor’s Day when women can proposes to men. One theory says the tradition dates back to the fifth century when St. Bridget complained to St. Patrick that men were taking too long to propose marriage, so he said why not do it in a leap year and men wouldn’t refuse.
The five million people with birthdays today are often called “leapers” or “leaplings” and for them, understandably, things move a bit slower.
There is also some indication that Queen Margaret of Scotland began the tradition of women asking men to marry in 1288, apparently if they refused the proposal fined a kiss, a silk dress or 12 pairs of gloves.