As we head into 2024 and wave farewell to the year 2023, many of us will already be planning our next adventures including days out, holidays and birthday celebrations.

But as you check out the 2024 calendar, you might be wondering why February has 29 days.

That’s because this year will see a leap year take place, which means there will be an extra day to make the most of, especially those who are born on February 29.

Why is there a leap year and how many days are in it?

“The number of Earth's revolutions is not the same as the time it takes for the Earth to get around the Sun,” explains Royal Museums Greenwich.

“The Solar year is 365.2422 days long, a length which no calendar year can accommodate.

“By having leap years every four years we ensure that the months consistently match up with the seasons.”

So as 2024 is a leap year, there will be 366 days.

When was the last leap year in the UK?

“To be a leap year, the year number must be divisible by four – except for end-of-century years, which must be divisible by 400,” comments Royal Museums Greenwich.

Will the UK get snow this winter? 

This means that the year 2000 was a leap year, although 1900 was not but after 2024, the years 2028, 2032 and 2036 will all be leap years.

After this year, the next leap year will be 2028.

The first leap year in modern Britain was back in 1752, when 11 days were “lost” from September with the adoption of the Gregorian calendar.

Royal Museums Greenwich added: “After 1752 we adopted the system still in use today where an additional day is inserted in February in years wholly divisible by four, other than years ending in 00 with the exception of those divisible by 400 which are still leap years (like 2000).”