Leap Day Babies Prepare For Their Rare Birthdays
Second grader Amelia Carter at Clarendon Hills, Illinois will celebrate a leap year birthday this 2016. It's only the second time that she'll be able to celebrate turning exactly one year older on her real birthday.
When she celebrated her first leap year birthday four years ago, she was too young to understand what it meant. She was 5 years old when she finally understood.
Amelia said she likes it because she was born on a very special day. Normally, she celebrates turning a year old on Feb. 28.
Another Clarendon Hills resident, Emily Horton, usually celebrates her birthday on March 1 but this year, she gets to celebrate on her actual birthday.
"It's really cool. Not everyone has a day everyone knows about. It's sort of special," said Emily, 12, who understood the whole leap day birthday only last year. Her father's birthday is on March 2 so they usually end up having a double celebration.
At Burr Ridge, Illinois, Natasha Youssef is pretty excited to celebrate her fourth leap year birthday this 2016. Like the first two leap day babies, the sophomore at Lyons Township High School thinks a Feb. 29 birthday is pretty special.
Youssef added that her leap day birthday comes up a lot in class discussions and that people think it is quite cool. She was 8 years old when she first celebrated her first leap day birthday.
It was then when she noticed that her birthday is quite unusual. Normally, they celebrate it every Feb. 28 because her 21-year-old brother was born on the 27th.
It takes the planet roughly 365 days, five hours, 48 minutes and 45 seconds to circle the sun. The extra 24 hours accumulates and is added to the calendar. That extra day, Feb. 29, was added by Roman General Julius Caesar more than 2,000 years ago in relation to the sun's position. More than 1,500 years later, it was integrated with the Gregorian calendar.
Contrary to popular belief, a leap year doesn't happen every four years. A leap year occurs when the year is evenly divisible by four. If a year is divisible by 100, it is not a leap year. It only becomes a leap year when it is also divisible by 400.
The Honor Society of Leap Year Day Babies is an online community for leap day babies. The club was founded in 1997 and offers a platform for people born on Feb. 29 to connect with each other.