Tag Archives: leap year

Happy Leap Day!

Happy Leap Day

30 days has September,
April, June and November.
All the rest have 31,
except February alone,
which has 28 days clear,
and 29 each leap year.

Who learned that little ditty at school? Even now, I still recite it in my head when checking diary proofs (yes, honestly!)

And here we are on day 29. The day when women who rather fancy their other halves as husband material may propose. This ‘right’ to propose on 29th February each leap year goes back hundreds of years when Leap Day had no recognition in English law; the day was ‘leapt over’ and ignored, hence the term ‘leap year’.

It was decided that the day had no legal status, meaning that a break in tradition on this day was acceptable. Thankfully, nowadays, we can propose whenever we like, Leap Day or otherwise.



Baked Onion SoupIf you’re not busy proposing today, bake this absolutely delicious recipe. I know a baked soup sounds bizarre, but trust me, it’s worth it. Perfect Saturday lunch fayre.

This recipe is from our Cook it Slowly! cookbook, which is packed full of flavoursome recipes perfect for making ahead.

Baked Onion Soup








Is 2020 a Leap Year?

2020 leap year 29 February

Is 2020 a Leap Year? Yes!

I have many ways of memorising different dates, but for leap years, the easiest way to remember it is that the millennium was a leap year. And therefore, any multiples of 4 after that date will be a leap year.

We need leap years to keep our modern-day calendar in alignment with the earth’s revolutions around the sun.

It takes earth 365 days, 5 hours, 48 minutes,
and 45 seconds to circle once around the sun.

Having studied the history of maths at university (yes, I did have to precede the lectures with an early night and strong coffee), I find the decisions made by our ancestors to create the modern calendar quite fascinating. They didn’t have telescopes or computers to help them but instead had to work from observations and inferences.


The Gregorian Calendar

The ancient Roman calendar added an extra month every few years to keep in line with the seasons until Roman general Julius Caesar introduced the first leap year. But his Julian calendar had only one rule: any year evenly divisible by four would be a leap year. This formula produced way too many leap years. It was not corrected until the introduction of the Gregorian calendar more than 1,500 years later.

Aloysus Lilius
Aloysus Lilius

The Gregorian calendar was introduced by Pope Gregory XIII from advice given by Italian scientist Aloysus Lilius. Aloysus Lilius was a philosopher, astronomer and all-round very clever guy who we must thank for making our diaries work perfectly. Or almost………

Even adding a leap day every four years, the figures are actually out by 26 seconds per year. So, by the year 4,909 it will need rectifying by a day. But I don’t think that’s something that we at Dairy Diary need to worry about planning just yet (we just have to deal with last-minute decisions to move Bank Holidays by Governments instead!)









Leap Day 29 February 2016.

Leap Day


Leap Day – to propose or not to propose, that is the question

Leap Days are needed to keep our calendar in alignment with the Earth’s revolutions around the Sun.

It takes the Earth 365.242199 days to circle once around the Sun. If we didn’t add a day on February 29 every 4 years, we would lose almost six hours every year. After only 100 years, our calendar would be off by approximately 24 days in relation to the seasons.

As this day only comes around every four years I feel as though I should do something radical today. But what?

It’s tradition for women to propose to their boyfriends on leap days but as my fiancé beat me to it 7 years ago I can’t do that.

So instead, I have decided
to (finally) book our wedding.

The next 12 months will be a whirling dervish of penny-pinching and organising so I had better keep my trusty Dairy Diary to hand – the budget planner and notes pages will be more valuable than ever!

Have you done anything different to commemorate leap day today?






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