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When do Leap Day Babies Celebrate Their Birthdays?

A number of famous people were born on Leap Day. But how do “leaplings” celebrate their birthdays – every year or every four years? And what is the world record for the number of children born in the same family on February 29?

Illustration image
Composer Giacchino Rossini (b. Feb 29, 1792)
Composer Giacchino Rossini was born on February 29, 1792.

“Leapling” Birthdays

Leap Days occur only nearly every four years, but Leap Day babies still get to celebrate their birthdays in common years. As far as birthday presents and cakes are concerned, there are no set rules – some celebrate on February 28, some prefer March 1.

However, many countries have laws defining which date a person born on February 29 comes of age in legal terms. In some countries such as New Zealand, the official birthday falls on February 28 in common years; in other countries like the United Kingdom, Leap Year babies have to wait until March 1.

Leap Year World Records

According to the Guinness Book of Records, the only verified example of a family producing three consecutive generations born on February 29 is that of the Keogh family. Peter Anthony was born on a Leap Day in 1940, while his son, Peter Eric, was born on February 29, 1964. Peter Eric's daughter, Bethany Wealth, was also a Leap Day baby, born on February 29, 1996.

When and what is Leap Day?

The Henriksen family from Andenes, Norway currently holds the official record for the most number of children born in a family on Leap Day. Karin Henriksen gave birth to 3 children on February 29; her daughter Heidi in 1960 and her sons Olav and Leif-Martin in 1964 and 1968.

Leap Day Traditions and Superstitions

Celebrity Leap Day Birthdays

  • 1468 – Pope Paul III (d. 1549)
  • 1792 – Gioacchino Rossini, Italian composer (William Tell, The Barber of Seville) (d. 1868)
  • 1896 – Morarji Desai, former Indian prime minister (d. 1995)
  • 1968 – Wendi Louise Peters, English television and theatre character actress
  • 1916 – Dinah Shore, American singer (d. 1994)
  • 1924 – Al Rosen, American baseball player
  • 1924 – Carlos Humberto Romero, former president of El Salvador
  • 1960 – Anthony (Tony) Robbins, American motivational speaker
  • 1964 – Lyndon Byers, Canadian hockey player
  • 1972 – Saul Stacey Williams, American singer, musician, poet, writer, and actor
  • 1972 – Antonio Sabàto Jr, Italian-born actor
  • 1976 – Ja Rule (real name Jeffrey Atkins), American rapper and actor
  • 1980 – Chris Conley, American musician and songwriter/composer

Topics: Calendar, Leap Year, February, Fun

In this Article


Leap Day Library

  1. Customs & traditions
  2. Famous Birthdays
  3. February 30, 1712

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