Leap Year

Leap Year

A leap year is a year in which the February month has an extra day called a leap day. Read this article to know more.


Since the Earth takes 365 days to orbit the sun, in the course of every four years, it becomes 366 days. Thus, to make fewer adjustments from keeping the drift mint of seasons, leap years were introduced. 

There are various questions on what is a leap year and how many days are there in a leap year. In this post, we will explain everything about leap year.

What is a leap year?

A leap year is a year that has an extra day in February, and it occurs in the course of every four years. 

The years that are divisible by 4 except for the century and the years that should be divisible by 400 are called leap years. 

Some of the leap years are 2000, 2004, 2008, 2012, 2016, and 2020. 

By whom was the leap year invented?

Leap years were first introduced in the Western calendar over 2000 years ago by Julius Caesar, a Roman general. 

The Julian calendar, which was named after him, had one rule that the year divisible by 4 would be considered a leap year.

Due to this rule, there were many leap years produced, which resulted in the drafting of the Julian calendar. However, this mistake was corrected by introducing the Gregorian Calendar after 1500 years. 

When did the first leap year occur?

The first leap year in Britain was in 1752. Then, 11 days were removed from the September month in the Gregorian calendar as Britain and her colonies instructed. 

After 1752 this system was then adopted by us where an extra day was added in February for four years which were completely divisible by 4 or 400. 

How many days in a leap year?

During a leap year, the month of February has an extra day known as a leap day. So, instead of 28 days, the month of February in a leap year will have 29 days. 

Since there are 366 days in a leap year, the total number of hours in a leap year will be 8784 hours. 

Why do we need leap years in our calendars?

  • Earth usually takes a year to finish an orbit around the sun. A day has 24 hours, and this is the amount of time one rotation of the planet takes place on its axis. 
  • Our calendar doesn’t have the exact number of days since the planet Earth takes about 365 days and 6 hours to orbit around the sun, whereas each day has 24 hours for the Earth to rotate on its axis.
  • Due to these reasons, in most of the years, the days are rounded down to 365. However, there is a leftover piece of the day that doesn’t disappear after some time. Therefore, in order to make sure that the extra part of the day is counted as well, we have added an extra day to the calendar every four years.
  • Since one-fourth of the hours of a day is subtracted during each orbital revolution, there is an extra day kept in February known as the leap day. It is dated 29th February.

Why are leap years and leap days important?

  • Keeping leap years and leap days is very important in order to match the solar year to our calendars. A solar year is the amount of time the planet Earth takes to make a revolution around the sun. 
  • Subtracting the extra 6 hours every day my message up a lot of timing in the calendars. Therefore, by adding all the time in the four-year course, an extra leap day made for a leap year. 
  • Thus leap years and leave days are important in order to fix the error of having the additional time given by Earth.

Are leap years also considered for other planets?

  • There are leap years on other planets in our solar system as well. This is because almost all the other planets in our solar system are not completely aligned to the sun. 
  • In the case of the planet Mars, it is said to have more leap years than normal regular years. To find out how many days are in a leap year, divide the current year by four, and if the result is divisible without any remainder, the year is termed a leap year.
  • If the year is evenly divisible by 10 and 400, it is also considered a leap year. However, 2022 isn’t a leap year since it is not completely divisible by 4. Even a few cultures follow the ancient Roman calendar, where an extra month is added every few years to sync along with the seasons.