When was the last leap year?

What Is a Leap Year?

A leap year (also known as an intercalary year or bissextile year) is a year with an extra day, which is added nearly every four years to the calendar year. It is added to keep the calendar year synchronized with the astronomical year or seasonal year. This is because astronomical events and seasons do not repeat in a whole number of days, calendars that have a constant number of days in each year will unavoidably drift over time with respect to the event that the year is supposed to track, such as seasons. By inserting (called intercalating in technical terminology) an additional day or month into some years, the drift between a civilization's dating system and the physical properties of the Solar System can be corrected. A year that is not a leap year is a common year. The extra day in a leap year is usually February 29.

Why do we need leap year?

Adding an extra day every four years keeps our calendar aligned correctly with the astronomical seasons, since a year according to the Gregorian calendar (365 days) and a year according to Earth's orbit around the Sun (approximately 365.25 days) are not the exact same length of time. For example, in the Gregorian calendar, each leap year has 366 days instead of 365, by extending February to 29 days rather than the common 28. These extra days occur in each year which is an integer multiple of 4 (except for years evenly divisible by 100, but not by 400). The leap year of 366 days has 52 weeks and two days, hence the year following a leap year will start later by two days of the week.

When was the last leap year?

The last leap year was in 2020, and the next leap year is February 29, 2024. Leap years can present a problem in computing, known as the leap year bug, when a year is not correctly identified as a leap year or when February 29 is not handled correctly in logic that accepts or manipulates dates.

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