Leap Day: Happy Birthday to 5 Million "Leapers"!

by at . Comments

For about five million "Leaplings" or "Leapers" in the world, today is special. A person born on the quadrennial 29th of February only gets a birthday every four years!

The coolest thing about having a birthday on Leap Day? Becoming a walking, talking conversation piece by virtue of being born. The downside? The other three years.

When do you even celebrate? February 28th or March 1st?

February 29

"Some people say that I should be celebrating on March 1, since it's the day after February 28," says Danielle Fenster, 28, a digital project manager in New York.

"Others, including me, think that I should celebrate February 28 since it's within my birth month; Leap-Year babies call this being a 'Strict Februarian.'"

While federal programs such as Social Security accept it, the free market can be less reliable. Some websites don't list 29 as an option in drop-down boxes.

Facebook, the place most people go to check for or confirm a friend's upcoming birthday, has been strictly ambiguous - and inconsistent - on the matter.

"Every single year, Facebook chooses whatever day it wants - or none at all - and people start wishing you a 'Happy Birthday,'" one Leapling told ABC.

"Because Facebook told them to. Sometimes the 28th, sometimes the 1st, sometimes not at all. It's confusing and more than a little frustrating."

Interestingly, recent Leap Years have seen expectant mothers target the date for their big deliveries if it falls around the 40-week gestational mark.

Leap Day is a frequent birthday for fictional TV characters, even if the number of actual humans celebrating it is four times below average (obviously).

Actual celebrities with a February 29 birthday:

  • Mark Foster, singer (28)
  • Ja Rule, rapper in jail today (36)
  • Antonio Sabato, Jr., actor/model (40)
  • Dennis Farina, actor (68)
  • Tony Robbins, motivational speaker/author (52)
  • Gretchen Christopher, singer (72)
  • Jack Lousma, astronaut (76)
  • Dinah Shore, actress/singer (96)
  • Jimmy Dorsey, musician¬† (108)
  • William Wellman, director (116)
  • Herman Hollerith, inventor (152)
  • Gioachino Rossini, composer (220, immortalized on Google today)

TV Characters with Leap Day birthdays:

Happy birthday to Leapers, one and all!


Actually, the final adjustment to the Leap Year cceonpt by the Gregorians, was to address the 11 extra minutes per year that the one extra day every four years solution failed to account for. The Pope called for a solution, and the answer was if the last year in the century is divisble by 400, then it gets a Leap Day. None of this was explained to me in my childhood as I wailed against the inequities of not having a real day for 3 out of 4 of my birthday celebrations. Yes, I am one of the 4 million leapers


my husband likes having a leap year birthday. cos he says he celibrates his birthday, on feb 29 and mar 1st. he is such a cheater.