It’s Leap Day! Here’s the history behind it

Lucky Black Cats

It’s Leap Day! Here’s the history behind it

Every four years, an extra day is added to the calendar in order to synchronize it with the solar year.

It takes the earth 365.242 days to orbit the Sun. For this reason, the full day is only added once every four years.

The extra day, called leap day or intercalary day, is added at the end of February, giving it 29 days instead of 28.

Leap year occurs in every year that is divisible by four and only in century years that are evenly divided by 400. For example, 800, 1200, 2000 were leap years but 1700 and 1900 were not because they are not divisible by 400, even though they are divisible by four.

The practice of adding the extra day began with the creation of the Julian calendar and a decree by Julius Caesar in the year 46 B.C. The Julian calendar creates an extra day every four years, and does not follow the century-divisible-by-400 rule so there is still an 11-minute, 14-second discrepancy each year.

The 11-minute discrepancy in the Julian calendar had added up to ten days by the year 1582 A.D. so Pope Gregory XIII created the Gregorian calendar and dropped ten days from the month of October. He also established February 29 as the official date to add during a leap year, coined the term leap year, and created the rules for adding the leap year.

Currently the solar year is approximately 26 seconds shorter than the Gregorian year.
In the U.S., leap year coincides with presidential election years.
 

Source

Cable News Network

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Origins of Lupercalia

WOLVESOrigins of Lupercalia

Type of Holiday: Ancient

Date of Observation: February 15

Where Celebrated: Rome

Symbols and Customs: Blood, Februa, Goat, Milk, Wolf

Colors: Red and white, in the form of BLOOD and MILK , both played a part in the earliest observance of the Lupercalia. Nowadays these are the colors associated with Valentine’s Day, to which this ancient festival has been linked.

Related Holidays: Valentine’s Day

ORIGINS
The Lupercalia was a festival in the ancient Roman religion, which scholars trace back to the sixth century B . C . E . Roman religion dominated Rome and influenced territories in its empire until Emperor Constantine’s conversion to Christianity in the third century C . E . Ancient Roman religion was heavily influenced by the older Greek religion. Roman festivals therefore had much in common with those of the ancient Greeks. Not only were their gods and goddesses mostly the same as those in the Greek pantheon (though the Romans renamed them), but their religious festivals were observed with similar activities: ritual sacrifice, theatrical performances, games, and feasts.

The Lupercalia festival was held in honor of the WOLF who mothered Romulus and Remus, the legendary twin founders of Rome. During the original Roman celebration, members from two colleges of priests gathered at a cave on the Palatine Hill called the Lupercal-supposedly the cave where Romulus and Remus had been suckled by a she-wolf-and sacrificed a GOAT and a dog. The animals’ BLOOD was smeared on the foreheads of two young priests and then wiped away with wool dipped in MILK . The two young men stripped down to a goatskin loincloth and ran around the Palatine, striking everyone who approached them, especially the women, with thongs of goat skin called FEBRUA . It is believed that this was both a fertility ritual and a purification rite. It may also have been a very early example of “beating the bound, or reestablishing the borders of the early Palatine settlement.

There is some confusion over which god the Luperci or priests served; some say it was Faunus, a rural deity, and some say it was Pan, the god of shepherds who protected sheep from the danger of wolves. All that is certain is that by Caesar’s time, the annual ceremony had become a spectacular public sight, with young men running half-naked through the streets and provoking much good-natured hysteria among the women. February 15 was also the day when Mark Antony offered Julius Caesar the crown. Thanks to this historic event, and Shakespeare’s account of it in his play Julius Caesar, the Lupercalia is one of the best known of all Roman festivals.

It is interesting that such a rustic festival continued to be celebrated in Rome for centuries after it had been Christianized. Its survival can be partially credited to Augustus, who rebuilt the Lupercal in the first century B . C . E ., thus giving the celebration a boost. It continued to be observed until 494 C . E ., when Pope Gelasius I changed the day to the Feast of the Purification of the Virgin Mary. There is some reason to believe that the Lupercalia was a forerunner of the modern VALENTINE’S DAY: Part of the ceremony involved putting girls’ names in a box and letting boys draw them out, thus pairing them off until the next Lupercalia.

Source:
The Free Dictionary

Did You Know This Is A Leap Year?

Rotwild im Winter
Leap Day: February 29, 2016

A Leap Day, February 29, is added to the calendar during leap years. This extra day makes the year 366 days long – not 365 days, like a common year.

On February 29th, women can ask a man to marry her.

Role reversal on leap day.

When Is the Next Leap Day?
2016 is a leap year, so the next leap day is February 29, 2016.

The last Leap Day was on February 29, 2012.

Why Add a Leap Day?
Leap days are needed to keep our calendar in alignment with the Earth’s revolutions around the Sun.
It takes the Earth approximately 365.242189 days – or 365 days, 5 hours, 48 minutes, and 45 seconds – to circle once around the Sun. This called a tropical year.

Without an extra – or intercalary – day on February 29 nearly every four years, we would lose almost six hours every year. After only 100 years, our calendar would be off by approximately 24 days in relation to fixed seasonal days days like the vernal equinox or winter solstice.

Caesar Introduced Leap Years
Roman general Julius Caesar implemented the first leap day in his Julian Calendar, which he introduced in 45 BCE (Before Common Era). A leap day was added every four years. At the time, leap day was February 24, and February was the last month of the year.

Too Many Leap Years
However, adding a leap day every four years was too often and eventually, in 1582, Pope Gregory XIII introduced the Gregorian Calendar. This calendar, which we still use today, has a more precise formula for calculating of leap years, also known as bissextile years.

USA 1752: Why Are Some Days Missing?

Traditions & Folklore

Leap day as a concept has existed for more than 2000 years, and is still associated with age-old customs, folklore and superstition. One of the most well-known traditions is that women propose to their boyfriends, instead of the other way around.

What’s a Leap Second?

Leap Months

The ancient Roman Calendar added an extra month every few years to maintain the correct seasonal changes, similar to the Chinese leap month.

 

Source:
timeanddate.com

Celebrating Spirituality 365 Days A Year – Festival of Jana and Janus

Celebrating Spirituality 365 Days A Year

Festival of Jana and Janus

On this day the ancient Romans honored Jana, whose name means “luminous sky,” and her husband Janus, the guardian of all passageways. At their festival, a ram was sacrificed to Janus for his continue protection and Jana was invoked to shine her light on the New Year. To the Romans, who believed that the spirit of Janus hovered over all doorways, gates and passageways, this was a time of great consequence.

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Your Tarot Card for August 16th isThe Chariot

The Chariot

Friday, Aug 16th, 2013

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Traditionally, the card usually entitled the Chariot points to a triumphal feeling of freedom, as if the charioteer is being paraded through the streets as a hero (or heroine). The card reflects congratulations for high achievement, and serves as a sign of empowerment.

Huge wheels and frisky steeds speed the rate at which the driver’s willpower can be realized. This kind of charge makes more of the world accessible to anyone ambitious enough to seize the Chariot’s reins. But there is danger in this feeling of freedom, because of the increased rate of change and its power to magnify mistakes in judgment. As a seasoned warrior, the Charioteer is called upon to be extra attentive to the way ahead.

The Wicca Book of Days for Aug. 4 – August Augustus

The Wicca Book of Days for Aug. 4

August Augustus

 

When Rome was regulated by the calendar of Romulus, the month that we now know as August was called Sextile, and was the sixth month of the year(it became the eighth month under the calendar of Numa). Just as Quintilis was renamed Iulius or Julius, in honor of Julius Caesar, so Sextilis was eventually dropped in favor of Augustus, the individual so whom we refer whenever we say “August” today being the Emperor Augustus (63 BC – AD14), who ordered the change in around AD 8. The first emperor of Rome, Augustus (which means “imperial” in Latin) was born Gaius Octavianus

 

Th Emperor

Meditate on the major-arcana Tarot card of the Emperor (IV). This card, which depicts a dignified older man, crowned, enthroned, and holding his imperial regalia, signified masculine power and worldly authority, as well as absolute will and achievement.

The Wicca Book of Days for July 1 – A Timely Tribute

The Wicca Book of Days for July 1

A Timely Tribute

 

By today’s reckoning, July is the seventh month of the year, but this month was not always called July, nor was it always the seventh month. Indeed, its original name in the calendar of Romulus (and later, also of Numa) Quintilis, indicates that it was once the fifth month of the Roman year. Gaius Julius Caesar (100 – 44 BC.) had just reformed the calendar that regulated Roman time (after which it became known as the Julian calendar) when he was assassinated, and it was in tribute to him that Quintilis –  the month of the murdered emperor’s birth – was renamed Julius (or Iuluis), the Latin for “July.”

Juggling Powers

Meditate upon the major arcana Tarot card of the Juggler, or Magician (1). The objects on the table may vary, but this man always holds aloft a wand, signifying his will, while his other hand point downward, suggesting the transference of heavenly powers to the Earthly realm.

These Are So CUTE, I Just Had Too….Special Pet of the Day for May 22

 

 

Name: Caesar, Cleopatra
Age: Seventeen, Fifteen months old
Gender: Male, Female
Kind: Lionhead Rabbit mix
Home: Germany
Hello everybody, may I present you my two little rabbits called Caesar and Cleopatra? In reality, they belong to my mother and me. Cleopatra is the grey one and a female. She’s about fifteen months. The black one’s name is Caesar. He’s about seventeen months and a male. Why do they have such names you ask? My mother and I thought about the names of famous lovers and so that’s how their names were given.

We bought the rabbits last year in March, as Easter-bunnies. They live in a big hutch. It’s like a real house, with two floors. The hutch is about 1.8 meters long and about 1 meter high. They’ve also a big outdoor cage, where they can run, jump, play or dig. It in there is a basket, a nylon-tunnel and some toys.

Caesar is very anxious, reserved and timid. He’s also the calmer one. Cleopatra is very fast, high spirited and a little bit aggressive. If she’s angry, she grumbles very loudly. I didn’t know that rabbits could “speak” so noisily.

Last summer there was a big surprise. After coming home from a weekend-trip I looked into the cage of the pets, and what did I see? There were four baby rabbits, naked, blind and without any coat. They looked more like little dogs than like rabbits. What an excitement! In the following days I spent most of the time to watch the babies. They were incredibly cute. After four weeks they also ran into the cage and had a lot of fun among themselves. They were always hungry, so I was busy to bring them their food. When they were seven weeks, we looked for friendly and nice people and gave the babies away. That was a very sad moment, but we knew it was the right thing to do.

A few weeks later, my mother brought Caesar to the doctor. “It was only a little cut”, she said later, “but we don’t need anymore babies. Don’t worry, Caesar is still fine”, she said. And that was the truth!

I think Caesar and Cleopatra don’t remember the babies or miss them, they are still happy and always hungry. They are so sweet, aren’t they? I love them a lot.

The Wicca Book of Days for March 15th – Of Ides and Attis

The Wicca Book of Days for March 15th

Of Ides and Attis

Julius Caesar by Paul Helm

The Romans knew March 15 as the “ides of March,” and this date, has since been regarded as unlucky or dangerous because it is the anniversary of the assassination of Julius Caesar in 44 bc. Ides (derived from the Latin verb, iduare, which means “to divide”) occurred in the middle of every month and were once synchronized with the full moon. In Roman times, March 15 was also the start of a festival recalling the story of the doomed love affair between the Phrygian mother goddess Cybele and Attis, a young shepherd. During Canna Intrat (“Entry of the Reed”). The baby Attiss’s abandonment amid needs by the River Gallus was commemorated.

The Chaste Moon

Many Wiccans dedicate the March esbat to the Goddess in her springtime guise as a young maiden of budding beauty, whose imminent sexual awakening and flowering will mirror that of nature. Incorporate symbols of chastity in your rituals, such as tightly furled buds.

Test Your Cat Knowledge

Test Your Cat Knowledge

  • Cherise Udell

Feline Muse by Cherise Udell

Since so many people enjoyed my first Cat Quiz in “What Is Your Cat IQ?” I thought I’d put forth round two of quizzing your cat knowledge. So, invite a purring pussy cat onto your lap and take this informative quiz together.

 

1. All cats have retractable claws. True or False?

False. Cheetahs do not retract their claws.

 

2. Myth, legend, and folklore surround the Maine Coon Cat. One legend claims these cats are the descendants of a cat belonging to Marie Antoinette. True or False?

True. According to legend, a ship captain named Samuel Clough attempted to help Marie Antoinette escape France, but was only able to save her cats. He sailed to America and left the kitties in Maine.

 

3. One cat can give birth to over 400 kittens in her lifetime. True of False?

True. A tabby named Dusty delivered 420 documented kittens in her lifetime. Hopefully, Dusty didn’t have to name them all!

 

4. Ailurophobia means “fear of cats.” True or False?

True.

5. Genghis Khan, Alexander the Great, Julius Caesar, Napoleon Bonaparte, Benito Mussolini and Adolph Hilter all hated cats. True or False?

True All of these men, who sought to dominate the world, did share a hatred of felines. Hmmmmm….

 

6. Feeding dog food to a cat on a regular basis can cause blindness in the cat. True or False?

True. Dog food typically lacks taurine, a nutrient essential for cat eye and heart health.

 

7. Carrots are toxic to cats. True or false?

False. But onions, green tomatoes, raw egg yolk, raw potatoes, grapes, raisins, poinsettias, philodendrons, dental floss, and aspirin can all cause havoc on a cat’s digestive system and health.

8. A group of kittens is called a litter. True or False?

False. Everyone I know refers to a group of kittens as a “litter,” however the proper term is “kindle.”

9. The world’s largest feral cat population is in Egypt. True or False?

False. The largest feral cat population is in Rome. Over 300,000 feral cats call famous Roman landmarks such as the Coliseum and Vatican City, home.

10. An ancient Chinese legend maintains that the cat is the result of a romantic tryst between a lioness and a monkey. True or False?

True. The legend suggests that the lioness endowed her offspring with dignity, while the monkey passed on curiosity and playfulness. I would have never thought that one up myself, but now that the Chinese mention it, it makes lots of sense!

 

How did you do? Did any of these answers surprise you? Have you ever heard the term “kindle” used to refer to a group of kittens? I am sure with a little creativity, we all could come up with a significantly more descriptive and endearing term to describe such cuteness!