Leap year celebrations abound
Published Wednesday, February 29, 2012 3:47PM MST
February 29 is a special day for the estimated 4 million people worldwide who are celebrating a leap day birthday.
The intercalary day comes once every four years in the Gregorian calendar and is needed to keep the calendar in alignment with the Earth's revolutions around the sun.
The Earth needs about 365.242 days to circle around the Sun once.
Without leap years, the Earth would lose about six hours of time every year.
"It was a rule introduced back in the roman times by Julius Caesar when he reformed the calendar, the Julian Calendar which some cultures still observe, and so it goes back 2000 years,' said Alan Dyer from TELUS Spark.
The special day also holds a few traditions and superstitions for some.
Leap days are a popular day for women to propose to their partners and it is believed the tradition balances the roles of men and women just like leap days balance the calendar.
Tamera Van Brunt did just that 16 years ago when she proposed to her husband Trevor.
"I was running around and my husband was acting weird and saying what's going on with you, and I was really freaked out and scared, it was actually weird being on the other foot and being the person to propose and pop the question. It was an odd feeling and pretty cool," said Van Brunt.
For those born on this day, there are a number of special deals to be had.
Westjet started flying on February 29th, 1996.
To celebrate its leap birthday, the airline is offering a one-day sale to anyone born on February 29th.
Leap babies can take advantage of the deal and book a Canadian flight for just $16 one way plus tax.
"We've had a couple hundred emails from people wondering what this sale is all about, and it's been shared hundreds and hundreds of times on social media, at this point in time as we do this interview there's about 50 or 60 people that have booked," said Robert Palmer from Westjet.
Sean Phillips thought it would be fun to offer a leap day contest and the winner will receive a professional photo session.
"The winner is going to win a lifestyle photo session, which really means I try to capture them doing the things they love to do, so we'll probably go out to a park in the city or some place they really love, and we'll just take some pictures of them being them," said Philips.
Almost 30 Calgary couples will celebrate their first wedding anniversary on Wednesday and 46 local leap day babies are having their first birthday party.