Graphic by Kaela Dockray '20
Are you one? Are you two? Are you three? Are you four? Stop! chants Lily Aldridge’s ’22 parents as they celebrate her 16th birthday. Instead of a sweet 16 party this year, she might need to call it her sweet 4th instead.
Once every four years, people born on Feb. 29 get the opportunity to celebrate their birthday on their real day of birth. The occasion occurs due to the rotation of the sun. A normal calendar year has 365 days, but, according to Quartz, it takes the Earth 365.24219 days to circle the sun.
It is extremely rare to have your birthday fall on this day, however, here at Staples, Aldridge is one of the million leaplings.
“It is the coolest possible birthday to have and the rarest – I’m only 0.07% of all birthdays,” Aldridge said.
Living with this birthday definitely has its advantages and disadvantages. One positive is getting to choose whether you would prefer your birthday on Feb. 28 or March 1.
“I celebrate my birthday on March 1, but my family actually argues that my birthday should be celebrated on the 28th of February,” Aldridge said. “Simply because it’s the same month as my birthday would be. There’s this unspoken rule that my family celebrates my birthday on Feb. 28. and my friends celebrate it on March 1.”
People who celebrate leap year often face some struggles as the day is literally forgotten for a whole year.
“In some ways, it feels like the world forgets my birthday, but of course I know my family and friends wouldn’t actually forget. It’s such a strange thing to not have your birthday even appear in the calendar one year, but for me, it’s four years of my life between each time I get to technically age,” Aldridge said.
Despite the downsides, this year Aldridge seeks to celebrate her birthday a little extra.
“Technically I’m only 3 years old and if I want to give myself a little more confident about it, I’m 3 and 4 quarters (3/4),” she said.
Despite the fact that she’s technically still a toddler, this leapling is looking forward to spending her 4th birthday blowing out 16 candles.