My near-nephew is a “Leapling.” This is not a terribly common word, but neither are people who celebrate their birthdays on a Leap Day. According to International Business Times’ (IBT) report on the science of leap years, “The chance of being born on Leap Day is 1 in 1,461.”
The Leap Day was introduced thousands of years ago when we transitioned from the Roman Calendar to the Julian Calendar. The switch resulted in an extra day added to February nearly every four years. Yeah, I thought it was every four years guaranteed, but apparently the year also must not be easily divisible by 100 – so 1900 didn’t get a Feb. 29 while 2000 did.
I hadn’t thought of it before, but apparently there are even countries that have laws that define when a leapling will come of age in legal terms. According to timeanddate.com, in New Zealand it’s Feb. 28, while in the U.K. it would be March 1.
Also in the IBT, Dave Smith wrote in 2012 about celebrating his 6th birthday although he was born Feb. 29, 1988. Other sites point to the record-keeping Keogh family who are in the Guinness Book of World Records for birthing three consecutive generations on Leap Day!
Personally, I’m more impressed by Karin Henriksen of Norway who apparently gave birth to a daughter in 1960, and sons in 1964 and 1968, ALL on Leap Day. That’s taking family planning to a whole new level!