Every four years, there is an extra day added to the shortest month of the year, February, making it a “leap year.” Leap day is February 29, and because the date only occurs every 4 years, those born on this day have to pick another day to celebrate.
Senior Kaelin Jernigan was born on leap day but celebrates her birthday on February 28 when it’s not a leap year. But when it is a leap year, Kaelin says her family goes out of their way to put on a “big production” for her birthday. “I think one of the funniest things about being a leap day baby is when people ask me if I’m actually only 5 years old or if I only celebrate my birthday on leap year!” Kaelin said.
Addison O’Donughue, also a senior, was born February 29 and is the oldest of four. Addison celebrates her birthday February 28 when it’s not a leap year, but her family celebrates her birthday exclusively on March 1. “My mom and dad refuse to call me and wish me a happy birthday on the 28th because they think it’s not officially my birthday until March 1st,” Addison said. Addison also said her birthday cakes always have a weird number of candles on them. Last year for her 21st, her friends bought her a cake and put 5 candles on it, breaking another into fourths since she was technically turning 5.25!
Matt Bocchi, also a senior, has always had a hard time celebrating his birthday. In elementary school, Matt said his teachers would always forget his birthday since February 29th was never included on the classroom birthday calendar. “I’ll be turning 5 and a half this year and I always tell people that to see if they get it or not,” Matt said.
Just for fun, I have to mention that my dog, Rudy is a leap year baby as well! Rudy is an English Cream Golden Retriever born February 29, 2016, from the local Gap View Ranch and Kennel, affectionately known as the “puppy farm.” We celebrate his birthday with a special dog treat cake on February 28.