“I dig old books.” ™
Welcome to my page of quotations about having a February 29th birthday on Leap Day. These special people are known as leaplings, leapers, leap babies, leap day babies, or leap year babies.
Then, he remembered the Gilbert and Sullivan operetta, Pirates of Penzance, in which the young man could not get his reward at age 21 because he was born on February 29th. There must be another way to emerge into the elder group than by a calendar. ~Thomas Jones, John Cotton, and Betsy M. Chalfin, "The Importance of Humor, Domestic Pets, Music and Interpersonal Relationships," Aging Aggressively: How to Avoid the US Health-Care Crisis, 2013
Indeed, February 29 people tend to be rather peculiar, a fact they know full well. ~Gary Goldschneider, "February Twenty-Ninth: The Day of Eternal Youth," The Secret Language of Birthdays: Personology Profiles for Each Day of the Year, 1994
I wouldn't even have touched upon this ridiculous topic if the question When shall a person born on February 29 celebrate his birthday? had not been raised rather seriously in a famous magazine and left unanswered. Here is the answer and the consolation:
To be sure, a man is born on a certain day, at a certain date; but his entry into the world, his first drawing breath, is the work of a single second. At this point in time, the sun stands at a certain point of its ecliptic. Therefore a given individual will be exactly one year old the next time the sun stands again in this same point; and the legal day which contains that instant is the person's birthday in the true sense, whatever the calendar calls it. This, I think is very clear. Put it in the style of a recipe or a set of instructions, it would run somewhat like this:
1) Have someone tell you the second, minute, and hour of your birth, or if unknown, assume some definite time: for instance, mid-day. 2) Look up the longitude of the sun for this instant in an astronomical calendar. 3) Look up in the calendar for the year in which you intend to celebrate your birthday, the day when the sun will have exactly the same longitude. This day, whatever it is, is your birthday.
If you proceed in this way, you will notice something which will amaze you: if you had been born on any other day — for instance, May 1 — you would nevertheless, under certain conditions, celebrate your birthday on different days, at times on April 30, at times on May 2. Therefore the man born on February 29 isn't always the only one who has to celebrate on different days of the month from the one which the usual method assigns him. Often one rejoices jubilantly at the death of the old year when it still has eighteen more hours to languish, and congratulates the new one eighteen hours before it is born. So in this case, as in thousands of other happenings of life, it's a matter of situation and circumstances.
~Georg Christoph Lichtenberg (1742–1799), "Consolations For The Unfortunates Born On The 29th Of February," translated by Franz H. Mautner & Henry Hatfield
Aren't the 29ths of February the true Greek Kalends in the years when this month has only 28? Well, if the Greek Kalends are only a poetic Nothing — a pretty phrase created by sublime ancient pedantry — the 29ths of February, three times in four, are a real, solid, prosaic Nothing of ordinary life and daily housekeeping. ~Georg Christoph Lichtenberg (1742–1799), "Consolations For The Unfortunates Born On The 29th Of February," translated by Franz H. Mautner & Henry Hatfield
The chances of being born on leap day are slim — 1 in 1,461. Those born on leap day, call them special or unlucky, have to wait every four years to enjoy an actual calendar birthday. ~Supraja Seshadri, "Leap day babies celebrated, but forgotten," CNN.com, 2012