What Happens If You’re Born on Leap Year?

Leap Day, 29 February date text on old retro vintage alarm clock against white background and isolated. 3d illustration.
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2024 is a leap year, which only comes around every four years when February gets an extra day. Instead of 28 days, there are 29 during a leap year. Have you ever stopped to think about why leap years exist or what happens if you are born on one? We’ve got the answers!

Why do leap years exist?

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It all comes down to the seasons. Our calendar syncs up with the seasons and it takes around 365.25 days to orbit around the Sun. To fix the fact that it isn’t neatly 365 days, the calendar adds an extra day every four years to fix it. If leap years did not exist, after 100 years, there would be a 25-day difference in the seasons and the weather would be a lot different than it is today in each month. But why does the day get added to February? We can thank the ancient Romans for that one. The original Roman calendar had 10 months but eventually, January and February were added to account for winter and they sometimes added a 13th month to realign the seasons.

Julius Caesar had the idea to include an extra day every four years and add the day into February. While this usually happens every four years, sometimes the Earth’s orbit takes a little bit longer so some years have been excluded such as the year 1900.

What happens if you’re born on February 29th?

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If your birthday falls on February 29th, get ready to celebrate because the last time you were able to do so was in 2020! While there are tons of jokes about the person not really aging, or being much younger due to their birthday only happening every four years, of course, the person does age normally. People generally celebrate on March 1 and that is the day they can legally drive, drink, vote, etc. If you were born on February 29th, you share a very special birthday with superheroes Superman and Shazam!

What are some leap year superstitions?

A woman kneeling on one knee proposing to a surprised man on a park bench

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People will always come up with superstitions, as it is just human nature and leap years are not exempt. One of the traditions or superstitions is that women should propose to men on February 29th. The tradition dates all the way back to the 5th century when a woman complained to St. Patrick and he proposed that women could propose on this day during a leap year. This phenomenon is explored in the 2010 romantic comedy Leap Year starring Amy Adams.

Some folklore says that a leap year is good luck while others claim it is bad luck. There is some evidence to support the bad luck theory because of the COVID-19 pandemic (2020) and the year the Titanic sank (1912). No matter what you believe, a leap year will keep coming so I think I’ll just believe it is good luck! Happy Leap Year!

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