Saturday, February 28, 2009

What August Did To February

Or so I understand. February had 30 days up until Caesar Augustus wanted another day for his month (guess which) to make it more important and at least equal to that owned by the Caesar known as Julius. That was around 153 b.c., far as I know.

February got knocked around somewhat, having 23 or 24 days from time to time. It, and January, were also the last two months added to the calendar since the Romans were smart enough to just forget winter and not even give it a name. Things ended in December (decem, 10) and started up again in March.

The Roman calendar was 355 days, with a 22-23 day month every second year when they thought of it, which wasn’t that often. So Julius got rid of it and added an extra day to some other months and, hey what the heck, invented another month for himself.

It’s good to be the Emperor.

So now we have the Leapers. Not lepers; Leapers. Leap Year babies and/or adults. Oddly enough, in non-leap years, they can celebrate their birthdays on either surrounding day, but when they reach Imbibing Age, they have to wait until March 1. Sorry.

A tradition is that from St. Bridget back in the 5th century, when she got the hots for St. Patrick and convinced him to allow one that one day when a woman could propose to a man. (He blew her off, so it says here.)


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