Wednesday, February 29, 2012
A Leap into Leap Day
Why do we need a Leap day?
I'll let Wikipedia explain..
Although most years of the modern calendar have 365 days, a complete revolution around the sun takes approximately 365 days and 6 hours. Every four years, during which an extra 24 hours have accumulated, one extra day is added to keep the count coordinated with the sun's apparent position.
The Chinese lunar calendar also incorporates leaping (if there is such a word to describe it), not leap days but leap months. Certain years, there are thirteen months in a lunar year and it is not restricted to any particular month.
How is the leap month determined?
Leap years have 13 months. To determine if a year is a leap year, calculate the number of new moons between the 11th month in one year (i.e., the month containing the Winter Solstice) and the 11th month in the following year. If there are 13 new moons from the start of the 11th month in the first year to the start of the 11th month in the second year, a leap month must be inserted.
Notice the calendar in the image above? This is the type of calendar traditional Chinese families would have at home which I have at work as well because it also incorporates the lunar calendar whose days of the month we refer to for events and festivals. It comes in handy for those who go vegetarian on the first and fifteenth day of the lunar month. This fast is usually done for religious reasons. Chinese festivals are based on this lunar calendar, but of course, including
- Chinese New Year (1st lunar month)
- Chap Goh Meh (15th day of the 1st lunar month - also last day of Chinese New Year)
- Tomb-sweeping day (3rd month)
- Dumpling day festival (5th month)
- Hungry Ghost month festival (7th month)
- Mooncake/Lantern festival (8th month)
- Nine Emperor God festival (9th month)
- Winter solstice festival (11th month)
So, happy Leap day, Everyone!
Do something nice today, something memorable or something bad which it won't come back to haunt you until four years later! LOL!