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?
"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:
- Leap Day William from 30 Rock
- Jerry from Parks and Recreation
- Cam from Modern Family
- Sue from The Middle
- Roy from Wings
Happy birthday to Leapers, one and all!