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Four Years, One Birthday

By Kristan McCoy; For The Clock
On March 8, 2016

Four Years, One Birthday 

Kristan McCoy

For The Clock

kamccoy@plymouth.edu 

COURTESY PHOTO from: http://www.quotesgiant.com/leap-day-monday-february-29/

Okay, so everybody knows what a leap year is (at least I hope you have heard of it) if not, here it is. A leap year is an extra day added on to the end of February every 4 years. Leap years are added as means of keeping our clocks (and calendars) in sync with the Earth and its seasons. Cool, thanks Leap year. Anyways, What if you are born on a leap year? Does that mean you only age every 4 years? Luckily it doesn’t quite work that way.

Some people born on leap years view it as a blessing, while others a curse, and here’s why. The chances of someone having a leap birthday are one in 1,461. For those of you who actually are born on February 29, you are referred to as "leaplings", or "leapers." Okay, so what happens when it’s not a leap year? Well, in the years that are not leap years the people born on the 29th, the leaplings, choose to celebrate their birthday on either February 28 or March 1. Either way, they are celebrating and having a birthday.

Something else that is interesting about this whole thing is that when you are born on February 29, realistically you only do celebrate your “actual” birthday every 4 years. By doing this, at the ripe age of 72, you’re actually only celebrating your 18th birthday, even though you have been alive for 26,280 days, 864 months, or 7 decades. I guess some of us really can be 18 again. Who would have thought?

All in all being born on February 29th is a strange, yet interesting thing all in itself. Whether you look at it as a blessing, as in when you start to get wrinkles you don’t actually have to say its your birthday, and can pretend the day doesn’t exist like my mother for example...because technically it isn’t your birthday, Or you hate it because you are an absolute party machine and want to slay the streets with the “ its my birthday bitch, I can do what I want” attitude, the day you were born is inevitable. I guess all in all the opinion on being a leaper comes down to preference. No matter what, none of us are getting any younger...even if you only celebrate every 4 years, so party on. 

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