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

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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!