Today marks a leap year in our calendars – something that only comes about every four years – so let’s take a moment to enjoy some of the strange and superb facts about February 29th, shall we? 1. The odds of having a birthday on the day of a leap year are around one in 1,461. 2. In 1504, Christopher Columbus, as a way of gaining the trust of the indigenous people of Jamaica, used the lunar eclipse on February 29th, to trick them. The local chiefs had ceased their assistance in helping Columbus’ crew with the food and provisions they were supplying. So Columbus warned them that God was going to punish them for not helping them by painting the moon red. During the eclipse, Columbus stated that God would stop the punishment, but only if they cooperated. The chiefs surrendered to his warnings and agreed to give them supplies. Obviously the lunar eclipse passed, but the Chiefs weren’t to know this was going to happen! 3. As many as one in five couples who are engaged in Greece plan their wedding around avoiding a leap year as they believe it is bad luck to wed then. 4. Russians believe that a leap year is more likely to bring heightened levels of freak weather patterns. 5. In Taiwan, married daughters will traditionally make a trip back to visit their family at home during the leap month. This is because it is believed the lunar month can harvest bad health to parents. In order to help stave off the chances of ill health daughters bring pig trotter noodles to wish them good health and good fortune. 6. February 29th is called Bachelor’s Day in Ireland. This is when women are allowed to propose to men. It was Queen Margaret of Scotland who began this tradition in 1288. 7. The punishment for a man refusing the previous fact? He would be fined a kiss, a silk dress or 12 pairs of gloves. 8. Two women have given birth to three leap day babies, the New York Daily News has claimed. The Henriksen family in Norway had their children on leap days in 1960, 1964 and 1968, respectively. Not to be outdone, an American family from Utah, the Estes’s had their children in 2004, 2008 and 2012. Have you got any facts on the leap year that you can share with us on social media? The team here at Lyons North Wales Holiday Parks would love to hear them, if you have any! Image: Lisa Suender under Creative Commons.