Once every four years, some special people celebrate their birthdays. Yeah, today, 29th February is a leap day! February has 28 days, but on a leap year, it has 29 days. The primary school rhyme “30 days has September, April, June, and November” just came to mind! People born on this day are called leaplings or leapers, and 1 in 1,461 are born on this day. Let’s share some facts about the leap year with you!
Some leapers around us are Oluseyi – Director at NovaClarius, Khris Burton – Martinique born Director and founder of HowBoutaKiss Motion Pictures, Nigerian singer, Korede Bello and Om’oba Jerry Adesewo – Director of Abuja International Festival. Others are American rapper, Jah Rule, Reanell Dawn founder of The Honour Society Of Leap Year Day Babies.
The leap year can be traced back to 46BC when Julian Ceaser introduced the Julian Calendar. In 1582, the Julian Calendar was modified by Pope Gregory XIII and was named Gregorian Calendar due to errors in the Calendar. The Gregorian Calendar is still in use to date.
Let’s share some facts about the leap year with you!
1. Leapers celebrate their birthdays either February 28 or March 1, in Hong Kong, the legal birthday of a leapling is March 1. However, some leaplings on Facebook say they are not very excited as their family and friends get a notification that their birthday is February 28th and March 1st – even on leap years.
2. Frogs are associated with leap years. This is because of their jumping and leaping skills. The Australian rocket frog can leap over two meters.
3. February 29 is also known as a rare disease day. It is a day to raise awareness for unknown or overlooked illnesses. It also falls on February 28 on non-leap years.
4. On a leap day, a lady can propose to a man, but if he says no, he must give a gift to not upset the woman too much! In Denmark, if the man refuses, he must give the woman 12 pairs of gloves.
5. In some countries, February 29 is associated with bad luck.
In Taiwan, the month of February is said to bring bad luck, and so grown-up children go home to check up on their parents. In Greece, it is sometimes considered bad luck to get married on a leap year while in India and Scotland, being born on such day means one would have an everlasting stream of suffering.
6. In a leap year, January 1 and December 31 fall on different days of the week. This year, January 1, was a Wednesday, and December 31 would be a Thursday!
7. Anthony Texas is the self-proclaimed ” Leap Year Capital of the World” and holds a festival every leap year to celebrate leaplings. Interesting, yeah?!
While some sites and computer programs do not acknowledge leap years, I personally think it’s cool to be born on a Leap day. I mean, the extra special feeling of arriving earth on that day! Some businesses and organizations actually have special packages and offer for people born on February 29.
A very special happy birthday shoutout to all the leaplings out there.