Credit: Windham Mountain
There have been many forms of leap years. The ancient Egyptians, Julius Ceasar, and now modern-day civilization have all used different versions of this system but the goal has always been the same. Leap years were introduced to match our calendar to the natural calendar of the Earth. The Earth’s calendar is 365.2422 days long; by using whole days or a fixed calendar that number cannot be reached. So, every 4 years we add the extra day to make up that lost time.
Without leap years the seasons would drastically change. After skipping the first leap year, the winter solstice would be December 22. Then after about 70 years winter would start mid-January and after 700 years the seasons would be completely opposite. This means we’d be starting winter in June and summer in December.
Beyond keeping the seasons in place, leap years provide even more for people born on leap days. Ski resorts like Mammoth Mountain and Big Bear will be handing out free lift tickets for those born on leap years. If you can only celebrate your birthday every four years, you better go ski for free!