Leap year babies not skipping a birthday in 2016

Published: Feb. 28, 2016 at 5:04 PM CST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

It takes the Earth 365 days and roughly six hours to orbit the sun. So every fourth year, the calendar gets an extra day in February to account for those extra six hours, a leap day. The chances of being born on a leap day are 1 in 1,416 and for those men and women who were born on February 29th, their birthdays are extra special and in 2016, they won't have their birthdays skipped.

Maggie Owens, a junior at UNL, was born on a leap day and she likes it.

"It's kind of fun to say I'm 5 rather than 20 just to play with people a bit, a lot of times people think I'm joking with them when I share that I was born on leap day."

For Maggie, in non-leap years she celebrates her birthday on the last day of February, the 28th. It's something she says her parents started doing when she was young.

"I think my parents started doing that just so I still have a February birthday rather than being born in March cause I was born in February, so the 28th is the best way to celebrate it."

Birthdays in non-leap years are like any other for Maggie, but once every four years when February 29th actually does roll around, her and her family will celebrate even more. When she turned 16, her family decorated her car and she got a pin to wear around saying it was her 4th birthday. She says her little sister will tease her, saying that she isn't the youngest in the family, because Maggie will only be turning 5 this year.

Maggie also gets the extra bonus of getting double birthday wishes since on Facebook it says her birthday is on February 28th and March 1st.

Magdalena Benton of Lincoln was also born on February 29th and this year she'll be turning 13. Unlike Maggie who usually celebrates her birthday on the 28th, Magdalena says she would use the whole week to celebrate.

"I figured well, if I don't have a birthday on the 29th, then I should probably celebrate all week."

While their true birthday only falls once every four years, both women get some interesting birthday congratulations.

"They would kind of say, well it's really not your birthday or is it your birthday...or is it really your birthday or happy birthday, maybe, you know ", says Benton.

Owens adds, "People sometimes wished me happy non-birthdays or un-birthdays when I'd be turning four and three-fourths."

The unique experience of being born on February 29th though is something both women think is very special.

Maggie says, "I think being born on leap day is pretty fun...special, it's always my fun fact when that I share with people when I first meet them." and Magdalena says, "I like it, I mean, I feel special about that, you know, my kids enjoy celebrating with me and it just kind of makes me feel good."

The Honor Society of Leap Year Day Babies estimates that in the United States, there are approximately 200,000 people who were born on February 29th and only 5 million across the globe. The next leap day will come in four years on Saturday, February 29th, 2020.