2024’s a leap year. Here’s how it may affect your schedule
To answer the question some of you may be wondering, yes, 2024 is a leap year.
But what does that mean exactly, and how may it affect you?
First thing’s first, what is a leap year?
PennLive has previously explained — during the last leap year in 2020, actually — how leap years occur when the Earth rotates on its axis “slightly more than 365 times in the span of a year.” This gives us timekeepers an extra day every four years, as found at the end of February.
LiveScience continues to explain how, although seemingly a bit strange, we practice leap years in order to keep our Gregorian calendar in close alignment with the solar year. If we didn’t, the timing of the seasons would shift.
As for how a leap year may affect your schedule, the National Air and Space Museum in a 2020 article first points to the obvious: The extra day in February (Thursday, Feb. 29).
As a result of that, the timing of holidays may not be what one expects them to be: Christmas, for example, falls on a Wednesday this year despite it having been on a Monday last year. This means that the work week of many will be a little be wonky during the holiday 2024 season, causing a lot of people to use up vacation days just to even out the time between Christmas and New Year’s.
In that same vein, payroll systems could be slightly different this year as well. On the bright side, that’s one whole extra day to maybe take a vacation.
CBS News adds how a leap year impacts the date of someone’s birthday: Babies who happen to be born on February 29 tend to celebrate when they came into the world either on Feb. 28 or March 1 during non-leap years.
However, Forbes notes that in the long run, we may have to tweak our calendar once more, as natural factors such as earthquakes shake up Earth’s rotation, thus affecting time.
But don’t worry, that’s nothing to take into account now: The same Forbes report states how leap days won’t be potentially rendered unnecessary until four million years from now.
Daylight saving time, on the other hand, is another matter…