Happy birthday Leaplings! That would be all those Leap Day Babies out there. Tomorrow they'll finally get their every-four-years chance to celebrate their birthday. And what a birthday worth celebrating: With the odds of being born on February 29th at 1 in 1,461 (or .068%), according to The Daily Mail, Leap Day Babies really are the unicorns of humanity and that’s reason enough for throwing a party. But what does it mean if your baby is born on Leap Day?
Perhaps you were thinking there might be some old wives' tales regarding babies who come into this world on Leap Day. Are they born with a predisposition for left-handedness? Do they live longer (or shorter) lives? Are they more likely to have green eyes? After all, there are superstitions for pretty much everything... right?
Welp, maybe not. Turns out having a Leap Year baby means they only get a real birthday every four years... and that's about it.
Oh sure, there are plenty of fun factoids regarding Leapsters. For instance, you can blame the solar system for how we got into this mess in the first place. Though we’ve been using the sun and moon to keep track of time since at least the ancient Egyptian era, those factors don’t fit into a perfect calendar. As Mental Floss explains, “365 days is still about a quarter-day short of the true solar year.” To fix this, the Egyptians figured out that adding an extra day every four years would get us close to a “true solar year.” The Romans adopted this calendar and we’re still living with it today.
And then there’s the confusing business of what to legally put on your driver’s license. In most places, like in England and many American states, according to The Daily Mail, children born on February 29 are “legally aged” on March 1. Meanwhile, New Zealand and Taiwan acknowledge February 28 as the official date of birth for Leapers.
That alone is enough to send a Leapster into a panic attack. Fortunately, even people who count their birthdays quadrennially have a support network. For the 4 million Leap Day Babies in the world, there’s the Honor Society of Leap Year Day Babies. Designed to celebrate and advocate for February 29 and all of its babes, its accompanying website offers events, Facebook groups, and activities.
And if that weren’t enough and you’re a Leap Day babe who just needs to get away and forget all this Brigadoon-like birthday drama, you can escape to Anthony, New Mexico/Texas, USA, known as the Leap Year Capital of the World. To prove the town is serious about the claim, it hosts a birthday celebration for all Leaplings every four years.
But other than that? Well, Leapsters, what can we tell you. You’re the victims of chance. So why not celebrate?
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