How do leap year babies celebrate their birthdays?

Do leap year babies celebrate their birthdays on Feb. 28 or March 1? Do they get four years worth of presents if they only celebrate every four years?

How do leap year babies — or "leaplings" as they are called — celebrate their birthdays?

Judging by the response on social networking sites today, most leaplings celebrate their birthdays on either Feb. 28 or March 1 (like they will be doing this year, with the absence of Feb. 29), while others strictly observe them only on their authentic leap day birthday.

Some famous leap year babies include American rapper and singer Ja Rule, Algerian musician Khaled and Pope Paul III (born in 1468).

"I remember being born on leap day as just making me more interesting," said Kevin Watkins, who works in mobile security in San Francisco.

Watkins said he celebrates his birthday every year, although on non-leap years, friends would always remind him that it wasn't really his birthday.

"I'd tell them it was, but I am not going to lie, they were right," he says. "It's similar to celebrating your birthday on a day that is just close to it, not as real or satisfying. Then, when it's actually a leap year birthday, it's so bittersweet and real."

"I pick Feb. 28 or March 1, whichever is easier," he said.

Watkins said that his leap year birthdays tend to be more well-planned and bigger.

This year he will be going to Tahoe to snowboard with a group of friends.

Leap year birthdays: Anime character Pochacco is a leap year pup. IMAGETwitter: Screenshot

Watkins, who was born in Texas and moved to California six years ago, said that it was not easy being a leap year baby.

"Growing up a lot of systems failed when it came to supporting Feb. 29," Watkins said. "These days, almost all government agencies support it. That being said, my driver's license in Texas says Feb. 28, while the California license does support leap day and correctly shows Feb. 29. Go figure."

Kevin's mother Connie said that the problems with officially documenting Kevin's birthday started when computers came into the picture.

"Somehow they didn't recognize a day that only came every four years so we had to say he was born March 1," she said. "It was hard to explain to a little fellow that his birthday wasn't really happening that year or the next or the next ... so we celebrated all week. It was a lot of fun but hard for us to come up with presents that stretched all week. Even today, although he's a grown man with a life in California, we talk about him all week. He will always be our special leap year birthday boy no matter how old he is."

Leap year birthday wishes are also flying around on Twitter.

Motivational speaker Tony Robbins tweeted: "Thank you to everyone for the Birthday Love! ;-) yes, I was born on Leap year so I am 13. When I'm 84 I'll be 21!"

Others joked: "Is there a leap year birthday gift? Should I send people some frogs or something? I can but that's probably not a thing though," tweeted Ororo Iqadi T'Challa.

A few leap year babies specifically asked others to wish them a "happy birthday" on Twitter.

"I'm born on a leap year and I technically don't have a birthday! If you tweet at me it will make my non birthday amazing!!" wrote Twitter user Kailey Eininger.

Also celebrating a leap year birthday today is Dallas Cowboys defensive coordinator Monte Kim, who got a shout out on Twitter from DC Star Magazine, the official publication for the Dallas Cowboys.

Anime character Pochaccho — a sporty white dog with white floppy ears, but no visible mouth — is a leap year pup.

The Honor Society of Leap Year Day Babies is an online club for leaplings. More than 10,000 people from all over the world have joined the site to tell their story since its inception in 1997.

In some countries, tradition says that a woman can ask a man to marry her on Feb. 29.

If he refuses, then he has to give her money or buy her a dress. In higher echelons of European society, the man would have to buy the woman 12 pairs of gloves to hide her embarrassment of not having an engagement ring.

 

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