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Why We Should Rid Ourselves of the Traditional Leap Year

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Bella Lopez

Once every four years, an additional day is added to the calendar. It is an extra 24 hours that we get to live on Feb. 29. There is another way we can think about it, though. We need to align our calendar with the Earth’s orbit around the sun. 

Our traditional leap day was introduced by Julius Caesar to make up for the lost time unaccounted for every four years. According to History.com, it was brought to fruition when Caesar wanted to incorporate the Egyptian solar calendar but did not want to rely on the stars to keep track of the missing time. The change he made was to add an extra day every four years instead. While Caeser’s leap day has since been edited, it is where the origin of the leap day comes from.

While the typical calendar year is 365 days long, it does not align with Earth’s orbit. Earth orbits the sun every 365 days, 6 hours, and 9 minutes, or every 365.25 days. I propose that we change our calendar to the International Fixed Calendar (IFC) with a modification. This calendar is not only simple, but it aligns the year in an orderly fashion. 

The IFC has 13 months with 28 days on each of them. While that only accounts for 364 days, the additional day is known as Year’s Day. This day stands by itself and is not found within a month. Whenever there is a leap year, I propose the modification that is made is to add a second “Year Day” at the end of the year every four years.  

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This IFC calendar puts the first day of the month on Sunday, with every seventh day on a Saturday. People will have an easier time remembering what number of the month falls on which day of the week. It also links up the moon cycles. Moon cycles are 28 days long, so each month will correlate to a certain cycle. While this will be slightly off every four years, it will correct itself with the additional day. 

While the IFC calendar organizes the year more effectively, it has applications that we can incorporate into our lives every day. When you are attending an event or scheduling a meeting, you know what day of the week that meeting will be on. For instance, the sixth day of the month will always fall on a Friday. 

This new format will also provide less confusion throughout the year. Many people, including myself, cannot remember the number of days different months have from one another. Although many can search the internet to find this information, having the same number of days each month can allow for this process to be straightforward. 

A calendar with 13 months is not something that I see happening in the near future due to the drastic change it would make to how we have lived our lives for centuries. However, it is an interesting concept to think about how we would live our lives under this new format. While it does work on paper, can these applications be applied to the real world? I guess we will never know. 

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About the Contributor
Jeffrey Hrunka, Eagle News Assistant Sports Editor
Jeffrey Hrunka is a junior double majoring in communications and journalism with a concentration in public relations. Jeffrey is from Fort Myers where his interest in sports journalism originated after falling in love with the world of motorsports. When he’s not working for Eagle News, he is usually spending time with friends, watching the New York Giants lose, or chilling in the pool.

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    THOMAS P MCLAUGHLINFeb 29, 2024 at 12:14 pm

    This does not fix the issue… there are 365.242374 days in the solar year… so if you only account for 365.25 with the extra year day then your math does gets .01 of an extra day each 4 year set. That is why we leap leap year in the years that are divisible by 100 but that does not fix it either… as that takes off too much.. so we add back in a leap day every 400 years. That gets us much closer but still not perfect however it only messes up our world a small fraction every 400 years or so… not too bad. It would be 100,000 years before we noticed any difference is the seasons like November being in summer. Another way to fix it is to change the length of a second. Currently it is matched to the frequency of an atomic element (atomic clock) Change the length of a second to 2200483490984157/2199023255552 milliseconds instead of 1000 milliseconds then make that actual time equal to 1000 milliseconds and you will have 365 days in one solar year … the issue with this solution is getting something to keep track of .6640 ish of a millisecond is a hard thing to count.

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