The origins of the leap year are shrouded in astronomical mystery, mathematics, and the egotistical machinations of a Roman Emperor keen to create a Gregorian calendar alignment for the Earth’s orbit around the sun.
It takes the Earth approximately 365.242189 days – or 365 days, 5 hours, 48 minutes, and 45 seconds – to circle once around the Sun. However, the Gregorian calendar has only 365 days in a year, so if we didn't add a leap day on February 29 nearly every four years, we would lose almost six hours off our calendar every year. After only 100 years, our calendar would be off by around 24 days!
When Julius Caesar came to power, people observed a 355-day calendar - with an extra 22-day month every two years. But it was a somewhat chaotic solution to the problem what with Roman feast days and pagan rituals beginning to disappear into different seasons! The solution seemed simple enough.. Caesar ordered his astronomer, Sosigenes, to come up with a cosmic solution and bring some harmony to the calendar. Sosigenes designed a 365-day year with an extra day every four years to scoop up the extra hours. And this dear reader, is how the 29 February was born.
According to Ian Stewart, Emeritus Professor of Mathematics, "It seems a bit arbitrary , but there's a good reason behind it. The year is 365 days and a quarter long - but not exactly. If it was exactly, then you could say it was every four years. But it is very slightly less." The answer arrived at by Pope Gregory XIII and his astronomers when they introduced the Gregorian calendar in 1582, was to lose three leap days every 400 years. The maths has hung together ever since. It will need to be rethought in about 10,000 years' time” But then Professor Stewart warns, “mankind might have come up with a new system.”
The leap year has held a traditional allure for people to do something extraordinary. To take a leap of imagination, a benign risk that can surprise with it’s results.
There are so many stories out there about – marriage proposals, charitable ventures, personal reflections and transformation. Secret desires to fulfil on a seemingly erroneous ‘extra’ day in the life of a calendar. So we’ve been thinking.. How about a small but significant change for you in how you present your ‘look’. Have you thought about a different style of spectacles? Do you know how much difference that could make? Perhaps you can’t justify the cost? At Concept Eye Clinic in Tynemouth and Gosforth, we provide a free and bespoke personal style service based on intelligent attunement to pair you with the latest Tom Ford, RayBan, Italia Independent, Gotti, Oliver Peoples, Orgreen or Lindberg of your dreams.
Introducing a radical new concept in affordable eye wear: With our ‘Complete Club’ you can now take home a pair of spectacles + sunglasses + contact lenses + free sight tests + lenses from less than £20 a month. No hidden costs.
A leap in eye wear affordability? YES.
Imagination required. NO