Is this a leap year? February 29 pops up only every four years, so 2008, 2012 and 2016, 2020 all have an extra day on the calendar. If you were born on Leap Day, then you joined the exclusive society of “leapers” or “leaplings”, and share your birthday with such notables as Pope Paul III, Jimmy Dorsey, Dinah Shore, Anthony Robbins, and Antonio Sabato, Jr.
Odds of Leap Day Birthday
It’s estimated that roughly 1 in 1,500 babies will make their debut on Leap Day. The 2017 US Census showed that about 200,000 Americans and 4.1 million people worldwide can claim February 29 as their birthday. The Guinness Book of World Records has documented the rare case of Norway’s Henriksen siblings, who amazingly were born on three consecutive Leap Days in the 1960’s.
If your baby is born on Leap Day, you may wonder if this will be a blessing or an inconvenience for your child. Certain countries legally recognize February 29 birthdays on February 28 or March 1 in non-leap years, leading some leaplings to complain of hassles with birth certificates, driver’s licenses, or entry fields on websites. But most Leap Day kids and adults aren’t bothered by any minor annoyances, and take great pride in their unique date of birth. They enjoy seeking out fellow leapers to swap experiences, and look forward to their next “true” birthday.
Celebrating a Leap Day Birthday
In non-leap (“common”) years, most commemorate their birthday on February 28 or March 1, with some night owls choosing to mark the moment at midnight. When leap year rolls around, though, a bigger hoopla is in order for the 29th. Party themes with leaping animals such as frogs or lizards are especially fun for children. Websites dedicated to Leap Day often share party ideas or sell Leap Day-related children’s books, decorations and gifts. To really make it a big day, you could even journey to Anthony, New Mexico/Texas for the Worldwide Leap Year Festival and sample a piece of the huge birthday cake for honored members of the Worldwide Leap Year Birthday Club.
Other February Birthdays
If you weren’t lucky enough to be born on Leap Day, perhaps your date of birth coincides with another date with special significance like Valentine’s Day or Presidents’ Day. Just for fun, see if your February birthday falls on one of these much lesser known “holidays”: