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Leaping into the Background of Leap year

Bryden Garbett

“I mean I think they’re pretty cool. They only happen every four years. Or three years or however much it is.” says Gary Chicarelli. Leap year is a rare event that only happens every 4 years, but not many people know about the deep backstory of Leap Year.


Why does Leap year exist?

Long long ago, back in the ancient times of Greece, the Greeks had managed to calculate that a full year is 365.25 days likely through means of Math and Astronomy. And according to The Smithsonian Institution, in order to keep the seasons in check, they decided that every 4 years, there would be an extra day to account for the extra 0.25 of a day every year.

 But in Rome, according to Washington State University it was different. Rome had a calendar of 355 days, and they would sometimes throw in an extra short month to make sure the seasons were in line. They called these extra months Mensis Intercalaris and the person in charge of implementing these extra months were given to the Pontifex Maximus, who was politically appointed High Priest of Rome.

Following Julius Caesar’s rise to power, and with inspiration from the Egyptians calendar he managed to standardize the 365.25 days a year calendar with the help of Mathematicians and Astronomers to create a calendar called the Julian calendar. 

The Julian calendar didn’t last long though, as according to the Washington State University, in the 1500’s the Europeans discovered that years are actually 365.2422 days long, and not the 365.25 like the Greeks had calculated. The Seasons were off by 11 minutes! And in 1582, Pope Gregory XII implemented the Gregorian Calendar, which was based on the Julian calendar, but with the necessary change of skipping 3 leap years every 400 years to reduce the drift from the seasons.

“I do know that in certain cultures it has a deeper meaning… I know that its backed by science.” said Spencer Thauberger. According to the Washington State University, Pope Gregory XII specifically implemented the Gregorian calendar in a way that makes it so Easter would take place when it is supposed to

“Probably somewhere out there probably originated from some country. I bet they do a lot of leaping.” says Chicarelli.




Writer: Hayden Thurby

Info-graph: Bryden Garbett

Research: Dane Dudley

Interview/ Editing: Cyrus Charles

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About the Contributors
Hayden Thurby
Hayden Thurby, Staff Writer
Hayden Thurby is a freshman and a staff writer for NUmedia. This is his first year in student media at Nevada Union and he was also involved in student media in middle school. In his free time, he likes to play video games and hang out with friends. At school, he enjoys math, English and drama.
Dane Dudley
Dane Dudley, Staff Writer
Dane Dudley is a sophomore and a staff writer for NUmedia.  This is their first year in student media at Nevada Union, although they also played Scar in a Lion King play during 8th grade. In their free time, they like to read books, play video games and sleep. At school, they enjoy culinary class.
Bryden Garbett
Bryden Garbett, Staff Writer
Bryden Garbett is a freshman and a staff writer for NUmedia. This is his first year in student media at Nevada Union. In his free time he likes to play video games and go bike riding.
Cyrus Charles
Cyrus Charles, Staff Writer/Editor in Chief
Cyrus Charles is a sophomore staff writer and Editor in Chief for NU media.  This is his second year in student media. In his free time, he likes to snowboard, mountain bike, and play guitar. At school, he enjoys English, rides on the NU mountain bike team, and participates in Symphonic Band and Jazz Band.

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