Saturday February 29 only comes around every 4 years representing the Leap Day of this Leap Year. The solar year is actually 365 days, 5 hours, 49 minutes, and 12 seconds. The Gregorian Calendar compensates for the extra hours, minutes and seconds by adding an extra day, or intercalating a day, every four years.
This keeps the Gregorian Calendar from drifting away from the seasonal calendar. In fact, it takes over 3,000 years for this calendar to drift as much as one whole day.
In 46 BC the Julian calendar was created – named after Julius Caesar – reforming the Old Roman Calendar, a lunar calendar, based on the moon phases. The Roman Calendar relied on those in the know when to add or remove days to keep the calendar aligned with the the Solstices and Equinoxes – by Caesars time this Calendar had drifted a good 10 days from the actual seasonal points. In 1582 the Gregorian calendar was put into use for similar reasons and also to create a dependable calendar for collecting taxes and fixing holidays or holy days.
The Julian calendar is still in use by the Berbers of North Africa and some aspects of Eastern Orthodox Church (Russia) though now (in the 20th and 21st Century) the dates are 13 days earlier than the Gregorian calendar.
So among the other interesting factors of 2020 (or any of the years listed below) it is actually a day longer than the usual 365 days we normally observe.
The challenge of this precise linear type of calendar is it fixates our consciousness in a very left brain rational linear and materialistic way. Calendars connected to the Moon cycle, for example, are far less precise and require more adjustments over time but they operate from a more right brain intuitive place.
So this is not say that anyone way of tracking time is better than any other as they all have useful attributes. Its hard to imagine how we would connect with others around the world without having clock and calendar time set up in a way that we can figure out when to connect with those in other parts of the world. We could imagine that working with both the Solar Calendar and the Lunar Calendar is a way to help us connect to both the more rational and intuitive sides of ourselves.
Other cultures such as the Sumerians and Mayans also tracked the Venus Cycle as a way of knowing what time it was in the greater scheme of things. And of course there is the Great Year (about 25,920 years of precession of the Solstices and Equinoxes through the constellations) that is most likely resetting to a new Great Year between 1962 to 2034 or 1926 to 2070 depending on how you choose to count it.
I created a video on the difference between signs and constellations some years ago that explains why the signs are seasonal and the constellations are the backdrop these seasons move through. Be sure to like and subscribe to my YouTube channel as that keeps YouTube from kicking me off their platform according to their new rules. https://youtu.be/q-svuwjprVc
Leap Years also just so happen to coincide with USA election years. Was that on purpose? If you know be sure to comment below.
2056 – this is the year I will turn 100 if I live that long and I was born in a leap year 100 years earlier. 🙂
The Gregorian calendar also fixed the New Year on January 1 moving it from the Full Moon Phase around the March Equinox. Those who continued to celebrate the New Year in the Spring were called April Fool’s.