What’s up with leap year?

Leap year only comes once every four years. Here are some things you may or may not know about February 29.

Why do we need to have leap years?

The ancient Egyptians were the first to determine that the Earth actually takes a bit longer than 365 days to circle the sun. The extra 5 hours, 48 minutes and 46 seconds annually are accumulated over the course of four years and we “catch up” with an extra day every 4th year (2012, 2016, 2020, etc.).

What happens if you’re born on February 29?

Your chances of being born on a leap year are about 1 in 1,500. Those born on February 29 are sometimes referred to as “leaplings” or “leapers,” and of course, will age at the same rate of anyone else. Typically, they celebrate their birthdays on either February 28 or March 1 on non-leap years.

Keep reading for traditions and a leap year inspired menu.

What leap year traditions exist?

In some cultures, social customs are turned around on February 29. As early as 5th century Ireland, women proposed marriage only on leap years. This tradition is still recognized by an unofficial modern American holiday: Sadie Hawkins Day. Sadie, “the homliest gal in the hills” of Tennessee from Al Capp’s cartoon strip “Li’l Abner,” and other single women in town pursued bachelors in a foot race. Many schools host Sadie Hawkins Dances, encouraging girls to ask the boys.

In honor of this pseudo holiday, we suggest a Southern “Cooking for Your Man” menu:

  • Paul’s Baby Back Ribs (recipe)
  • Skillet Cornbread from our bakery
  • Garlicky Greens (recipe)
  • Carolina Cat Nip Tea (recipe)
  • Pecan Pie from our bakery with freshly whipped cream

What are you planning to do with your extra day?