This is what it’s really like to be born on 29th February

Leave her alone, this is only her 6th birthday


There’s a rare group of people who were born in 1992, and 1996, and every other four year interval, who almost never get to celebrate their real birthday: 29th February. 2016 is a special year for those whose actual birthday only exists a quarter of the time. Emma Gros, aged 24 (or six if you count in leap years), is one of these select few.

We spoke to her about what it’s really like to be born on the 29th February and all the questions she’s sick of hearing from people who just don’t get leap years.

We can celebrate our birthday whenever we want

Everyone assumes people born on a leap year celebrate their birthday on the 28th when February is a shorter month. But this isn’t always true.

Emma said: “I celebrate on the 1st of March. That’s only because I was born at 11:30pm, so my parents technically think I was born on the first. I’ve read before that 80 per cent of people born on the 29th celebrate on 28th February because they want to be a true Feburian, but I don’t think like that. You’re not a year older until the next day anyway.”

Sorry to break it to you but there is no secret leap year club

“I get this a lot. I only know one other person born on a leap year and it was one of my friend’s dads. A lot of people think it’s a club. I don’t know anyone else born on a leap year – we don’t hang out and talk about birthdays.”

It's an excuse to dress up as a five-year-old

It’s an excuse to dress up as a five-year-old

We don’t get to have two birthday parties on a leap year though

“Sometimes I try and get people to do both days but they don’t really buy it. I don’t get two sets of presents, it doesn’t really work like that.”

People always send baby cards

“My friends think this is really funny, and it is quite funny to be fair. My parents always buy me two cards. One with my actual age then one with a quarter or a half in it. People do that a lot and buy me baby parents.”

It’s good to embrace being only five or six sometimes

“For my fifth (actually 20th) birthday we all dressed as five years old. I wore a princess costume with a tiara and my friend had a Dora the Explorer backpack. I tried to make it like an actual five year old’s birthday party with jelly, but with vodka in it. I’m really excited about my next birthday, but it’s on a Monday this year which is a shame for anyone else who was born on the 29th.”

This is Emma

This is Emma

Having a real birthday on the 29th is still something special

“I get pretty excited still, it’s nice to wake up and know it’s actually your birthday.”

Facebook can ruin it all for you

“On my 19th birthday, Facebook decided it was going to be my birthday on the 28th. Everyone came into my room to sing Happy Birthday and surprise, but nobody understood why it wasn’t the right day. They thought I’d set it on the 28th myself. I don’t really care, it’s only Facebook! Usually on the 28th it says it’s your birthday tomorrow, and then says nothing at all on the 1st.”

Bouncers and airport staff find it hilarious

“Airport staff and bouncers comment all the time. I’m surprised they find it so interesting! They ask how old I actually am and then guess something ridiculous. I’ve had people say I should be eight, which would make me 32. They’ll try and figure out when the next leap year is and it tends to show how bad people’s maths skills are. These are the questions people ask, and I find myself recycling the same answers.”

Have seen the film Leap Year? It’s nothing like the film Leap Year

“I would never propose on the 29th, that would take the celebration out of it being my birthday!”