These Leap Day Babies Talk About What It's Like Having a Birthday on February 29

Every four years, the people are treated to an extra calendar date known as Leap Day. For most, this occurrence means nothing more than extra hours tacked on to a year, and the date, February 29, will be spent with many going about life as usual.

However, Leap Day is a particularly significant time for some. It's the day when they finally get to celebrate their true birth date.

For more than 200,000 Americans, there will be no partying on February 28 or blowing out of candles on March 1. The leaplings—the technical term for folks born on Leap Day—will get to have their cake and they can eat it on the day they were actually born.

Newsweek spoke to a few leaplings who will celebrate their birthdays on Saturday. See what they had to say about having a birthday every four years below.

Some responses were edited for purposes of length.

These Leap Day Babies Talk About What It's Like Having a Birthday on February 29th
A calendar highlighting February 29 on a Leap Year, Leap Day. Newsweek talked to a few people who will be celebrating their birthday on Leap Day on February 29, 2020. iStock / Getty Images Plus

Zac Chambers, 8 Leap Years old

What is it like having a birthday on Leap Day?

Having a birthday every four years makes me feel a little jealous/bitter against people who get to have a birthday every year. When February 29 actually comes, I get way more excited than I probably should. I've been thinking about it all month.

How do you celebrate when Leap Day finally comes?

Typically, I celebrate my birthday on the Friday closest to my imaginary actual birthday. In years that I have a real birthday, I always take it more seriously—usually with a bigger party. Even if my friends and family don't necessarily treat the day any differently, it still means a lot more to me in the years when I have a real birthday. This year, I will be going out to dinner with my parents and a couple of friends then drinks at a couple of bars later.

Shane Billings, 8 Leap Years old

How do you feel about being born on a day that only comes every four years?

It's a mixed bag. The phenomenon of Leap Year gets some people so perplexed, sometimes I have to demystify it before they have a meltdown. Some years it can feel like, instead of a birthday, I celebrate my "annual anticlimax." But generally, Leap Year feels like my simple, special detail—like a birthmark or a person with two different color eyes. When I was younger, February 29 felt like a cosmic little window would open up, and somehow I might be imbued with luck or special power. Now I think it feels special simply because it's so rare.

Are you a February or March birthday celebrator?

Every year is different, but I gravitate toward February 28 over March 1. I'm loyal to February. It's the month of romance! Besides, March is a whole different month, a whole different vibe and color scheme. On actual Leap Years, there can be some pressure to fill one day with four years' worth of celebration. In 2016, Leap Day was on a Monday (arguably the worst day), but I still rented a small venue in Hollywood and hired a live karaoke band for the night, because I deserved it.

What questions or comments about Leap Day birthdays do you want to end?

That same old joke, "So you're actually only like, 5 years old?" has gotten a little stale. I wouldn't be upset if we put an end to that.

Sarah Reck, 9 Leap Years old

Are birthdays a bigger deal for you when Leap Day is actually on the calendar?

Honestly, most of the time I'm not thinking about it. I do like when other people recognize it though. For example, I was picking up a prescription recently and the pharmacist asked me for my date of birth and when I told him, he gave me a big smile and said, "Hey, you have a birthday this year!" It's amazing how often it goes unacknowledged though, especially when I expect a reaction. I definitely feel special and unique. There aren't that many people who can claim a Leap Year birthday, and I love that I'm one of them. It feels exciting and a little like I have the right to brag or tell everyone it's my birthday when a Leap Year comes around or to bemoan that I don't have a birthday at all on non-Leap Years. Honestly, I really like that I have this cool part about me that I get to share that's probably unexpected.

What bothers you about having a Leap Day birth date?

There aren't many Leap Day birthday cards out there. I actually made my own postcards this year out of a watercolor frog I drew. I got them printed and am sending them out to friends as a birthday treat to myself. A little reminder that the day is here this year. And this will probably sound a little—I don't know—snobbish, but I know a lot of people who make a big deal out of their birthdays every year, some celebrating for days, or a weekend, or a week or claiming the entire month. I get a little irked about people making a big deal when they have a birthday every year, especially if it's not a milestone birthday. I get a quarter as many actual birthdays as most other people, and I don't want to listen to someone go on and on about celebrating their birthday for days and days every year all the time. Sometimes I think that I—and others born on Leap Day—are the only ones who can really make a big deal out of it. But then again, maybe I just have a different perspective when it comes to birthdays and what they mean to me, seeing as how I don't have one every year.

Lanre Animashaun, 8 Leap Years old

Do you still get excited when your actual birthday comes?

You know what, it used to feel special. Like I was a special breed of human, that I was destined for greatness. Every Leap Year that rolled around felt big, and it was met with joyous anticipation. Now at 32, it's just another birthday to me. It's a pleasant thought. A passing notion, like, "Hmm that's cool, it's a Leap Year this year."

How will you celebrate?

When there is no Leap Year, I celebrate my birthday on March 1, logic being cannot be born a day before I existed. It's usually a big celebration. I think I've had some kind of party every Leap Year except for my 12th birthday. [This year] I'm going to this new lounge/speakeasy in Philadelphia called the Blind Barber. That way I can see all my friends in one spot without being responsible for their enjoyment. It's a win-win situation. I'm kind of being forced to celebrate this year by my friends, who are all tickled by the fact that it is a Leap Year. They are pressing the issue out of love, so I'm looking forward to it.

These Leap Day Babies Talk About What It's Like Having a Birthday on February 29 | Culture