Challenge Level

365$\div$7 = 52 remainder 1

29 Feb 2016: Monday

1 March 2016: Tuesday

364 days later is Tuesday again so

1 March 2017: Wednesday

1 March 2018: Thursday

1 March 2019: Friday

1 March 2020: Sunday (leap year)

2021: Monday

2022: Tuesday

2023: Wednesday

2024: Friday (leap year)

Follow the leap year pattern

2028: Wednesday

2032: Monday

2036: Saturday

2040: Thursday

2044: Tuesday (so 29th February will be Monday)

It will be the 29$^{\text{th}}$ of February again after 365$\times$3 + 366 = 1461 days.

1461 $\div$ 7 = 208 remainder 5, so 1461 days is the same as 208 weeks and 5 days.

The next 29$^{\text{th}}$ of February after 2016 will be in 2020, and it will be 5 days after a Monday - a Saturday.

Similarly, the 29$^{\text{th}}$ of February 2024 will be 5 days after a Saturday - a Thursday. And the 29$^{\text{th}}$ of February 2028 will be 5 days after a Thursday - a Tuesday. Similarly, the 29$^{\text{th}}$ of February 2032 will be a Sunday, the 29$^{\text{th}}$ of February 2036 will be a Friday, the 29$^{\text{th}}$ of February 2040 will a Wednesday, and the 29$^{\text{th}}$ of February 2044 will be a Monday.

Every 7$^{\text{th}}$ day is a Monday, so 7 days, 14 days, 21 days, ”¦ after 29$^{\text{th}}$ February 2016 will all be Mondays.

It will be the 29$^{\text{th}}$ of February again after 365$\times$3 + 366 = 1461 days, and again after 2$\times$1461 days, and again after 3$\times$1461 days, and so on.

This means the number of days between Monday 29$^{\text{th}}$ February 2016 and another Monday 29$^{\text{th}}$ February will be a multiple of 7 and a multiple of 1461. So the number of days until it next happens will be the lowest common multiple of 7 and 1461.

If 1461 were a multiple of 7, then the lowest common multiple would be 1461. However, you can tell by dividing 1461 by 7 that it is not a multiple of 7. So, since 7 is a prime number, the lowest common multiple of 7 and 1461 must be 7$\times$1461. That is after 7 sets of 4 years - so it will next happen 7$\times$4 = 28 years later, in 2044.

You can find more short problems, arranged by curriculum topic, in our short problems collection.