Monday, 29 February 2016

29 February

The 29th of February, a leap day that only occurs in years divisible by four (however, years divisible by 100, but not by 400, do not contain a leap day!) and, in the Chinese calendar, this day will only occur in years of the monkey, dragon, and rat. Not surprisingly, for a day that only appears once every four years, lucky events are a bit sparse. However, do not fear, I have found a few gems! On this day in 1504, Christopher Columbus used his knowledge of a lunar eclipse that night to convince Native Americans to provide him with supplies. In 1940, Hattie McDaniel became the first African American to win an Academy Award. It was for her role as Mammy in Gone with the Wind.

Now, a person who is born on February 29 may be called a "leapling" or a "leap-year baby", and in non-leap years, leaplings can choose whether to celebrate their birthday on either February 28 or March 1. People born on this day include Gioachino Rossini, Italian pianist and composer, born 1792; Augusta Savage, American sculptor, born 1892; Balthus, a French-Swiss painter and illustrator, born 1908, and English author, critic, and academic, Hermione Lee, born 1948, whose biography of Virginia Woolf won the British Academy Rose Mary Crawshay Prize and was named one of the New York Times Book Review's best books of 1997.

But today is dedicated to all the women who have decided to propose to their partner on this special leap year day! Go on! Say I do! Or as Abba would say,

So come on, now let's try it, I love you, can't deny it
'Cos it's true
I do, I do, I do, I do, I do

I wish you a leaping day of luck my friend!