Friday, February 29, 2008

A leap in time...

Should we have been saying "Happy Leaping", or something similar, today? I'm not sure of the protocol really but hope that all proposers and proposees have had a wonderful time.

Having experienced more Leap Days than I care to remember, I was surprised today by a notion that had never occurred to me before - but which is really only appropriate to this blog in the context of our having made passing comparisons between different countries' attitudes to public holidays. Well this particular point came up in the form of a question, being "why is Leap Day assumed to be a working day?"!

It is not a part of the normal working year really, and when it is worked, certainly by salaried people anyway, there is never any suggestion of extra payment. Perhaps salaries are based on a 4-year calculation?

Anyway, it was on the basis of this thought that there was apparently a (not very successful) petition in the UK to make this day a public holiday! The petition actually made it to the 10 Downing Street web site it seems! I can't say I'm terribly surprised, considering the dearth of public holidays in Britain - but what really astonishes me is that the French, the masters of the public holiday, have not already tackled this one...


5 comments:

Daniel Owen said...

More holidays the better, eh? Back in the day, when we were all peasants, there were loads and loads of holidays. So-called "Industrial revolution" put an end to that.

Cheers,

- Daniel owen

Will Pow said...

Bonjour Daniel... good to get an expat calling by. Oh for the simpler life? I tend to agree although I'm not so sure how long we lived to enjoyed our leisure when we were all peasants...

Stella said...

I had no idea there was such a thing as Leap Day. Hello slightly broader horizons! :)

Will Pow said...

Many thanks for calling by Stella. Well, there is an entry on Wikipedia giving this definition...

"February 29 is a date that usually occurs every four years, and is called leap day. This day is added to the calendar in leap years as a corrective measure, because the earth does not orbit around the sun in precisely 365 days."

As it purely a device to correct the calendar, I was taken by the idea of questioning why it should be assumed to be a working day. I wonder if there are countries where it is taken as a holiday?

Stella said...

We should put it on a to-do list:

Item #29 (ha ha) make Leap Day an actual holiday. The number 29 would be a theme. Like having to eat 29 cookies to bring you good fortune or something.