Happy birthday! Leap Day babies share their stories with us

When sending out invitations for a fiver party, moms request that each attendee gives $5 (a “fiver”) to the birthday boy or girl as their gift, instead of going out and buying presents.
When sending out invitations for a fiver party, moms request that each attendee gives $5 (a “fiver”) to the birthday boy or girl as their gift, instead of going out and buying presents.

Earlier this month we shared some amazing Leap Day facts, and readers wrote in to tell us about their Leap Day birthday experiences. 

Read that story here: When your birthday disappears, when do you celebrate? This, and other amazing Leap Day facts

Here's what they revealed to us:

Younger than the grandkids!

Amanda wrote to tell us that her family are celebrating her mothers’ “21st” birthday by way of a party planned for 29 February 2020. 

"This is a milestone as she is younger than her youngest grandchild!" she told us.

Leap year twins

Rivaaj is a proud Leapling who shared that he is turning 8 (or 32) this Leap Day. "We are called Leaplings or Leapers and I feel that it's definitely something to be celebrated," he wrote to us, adding "I believe there's something special about each and every leaping."  

He says his friends would joke about him not having a birthday when it isn't a leap year but, he says "I'd always get them back by saying, I do have a birthday, not 1...but 2. We'd laugh and celebrate on both the 28th and the 1st of March. When there is a leap year, then we celebrate all week long."  

"My mum would always tell me that the real birthday is when all clocks strike 12:00 on the 28th, and for that split second before the 1st comes in.... That's MY birthday. She still remind me of this up to this day," he shared.   

He says that over the years he's been lucky enough to meet fellow Leaplings, but the most uncanny was meeting a friend by the name of Vincent.

"He is the exact same age as I am, we both joked that we are leap year twins,"  Rivaaj says. "It's been nothing but bliss being a Leapling, and that's all thanks to my family, friends and mostly my mum." 

A second 21st birthday bash 

Gordan shared with us that his earliest recollection of a birthday party at the age of 4 years was an aunt who made a lovely chocolate cake that took center place on the table," he told Parent24.

"Us children, my sister and two cousins, sat admiring this: my special cake. When my aunt went to the kitchen to fetch plates, I stood up on my chair, put my knee on the table, and was reaching for the biggest slice, when she returned and gave me a hearty smack!"

"She then proceeded to give each one a piece of my cake and served me last. I guess bawling my eyes out at that age is quite understandable?" 

"Now as an adult my birthday is no different from other years and I am grateful for the love of family members, who always make it a special occasion. My wife, Marietjie, and I love being grandparents at this time of our lives."

"This year I will be 80 years," he revealed. "Birthdays are only another milestone on the way to Eternity, but if God spares me I look forward to still being able to invite friends to my 21st birthday bash, providing they bring their own walking sticks!"

What is it like?

Francois, one of a remarkable set of FIVE babies born on Leap Day 40 years ago, shared his experience with us.

"I always get the question What is it like? Always a difficult question because I don’t know anything else," he said.

"We have always celebrated our birthday together," he told us, "although we were lucky enough to have been given a party every year and each of us had our own cake of choice."

"Even now we celebrate our birthday together with family and then we each have our own get together with the friends. That has been like this from the first birthday and don’t think it will change, unless someone immigrates!"  

Read more about Francois and his brothers here: 'A solid case for entry into Guinness': These local brothers are the only quintuplets in the world to be born on Leap Day

We wish all Leaplings a Happy Birthday!

Chat back:

Share your story with us and we could publish it. 

WhatsApp: Send messages and voicenotes to 066 010 0325

Email: Share your story with us via email at chatback @ parent24.com

Sign up for Parent24's newsletters.

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For 14 free days, you can have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today. Thereafter you will be billed R75 per month. You can cancel anytime and if you cancel within 14 days you won't be billed. 
Subscribe to News24
Voting Booth
Eskom has considered continuous load shedding at Stage 2, instead of introducing it when the power system faces a crunch. What are your thoughts?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
I'm all for it - we're going to have power cuts regardless, so we might as well have some stability to better plan our lives
45% - 4201 votes
No thanks! I prefer having periods of no load shedding and we cannot normalise this crisis
55% - 5073 votes
Rand - Dollar
Rand - Pound
Rand - Euro
Rand - Aus dollar
Rand - Yen
Brent Crude
Top 40
All Share
Resource 10
Industrial 25
Financial 15
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes Iress logo
Editorial feedback and complaints

Contact the public editor with feedback for our journalists, complaints, queries or suggestions about articles on News24.