The next Leap Days will be:

Thursday, February 29, 2024
Tuesday, February 29, 2028
Sunday, February 29, 2032
Friday, February 29, 2036

‘Leaping for joy’ as 2024 ushers in the leap year

By Marie Fricker

The COVID-ridden year of 2020 was dismal with its shutdowns and restrictions on gatherings of friends and relatives. But the new leap year of 2024 has arrived to make babies born on February 29 leap for joy. Their actual birth date only appears on the calendar every four years.
“I’m so excited to be able to celebrate my birthday this year on its true date,” said Gary Macintire, 40, of Boston. “For the last three years, I have had to celebrate on February 28 or March 1. I’ve only had 10 ‘real’ birthdays in my lifetime. I don’t know if that makes me a kid or an adult, but it’s a good excuse for acting immature.”
The chance of a person being born on February 29 in a leap year is just one in 1,461. Only 205,000 people in the U.S. have entered the world on this elusive day.
One of the more famous leap year babies (nicknamed “leaplings” or “leapers”) is guru Tony Robbins, who was born on February 29, 1960. One might say that Robbins was only six years old when he published his first book, “Unlimited Power,” or that rapper Ja Rule, another leap year baby, released his debut album at age 5. Of course, neither one of these celebrities were child prodigies. They actually observed these landmark achievements in their mid-20s.
Other well-known celebrity leaplings were singer Dinah Shore, who was born on February 29, 1916, recently deceased actor Dennis Farina, born on February 29, 1944, and actor Peter Scanovino, who is turning 44 (and 11) this year. He was born on February 29, 1980.
Adding an extra day to our calendar every four years has its basis in science. According to researchers at Wikipedia, it takes 365.242189 days for the Earth to circle once around the sun. However, our Gregorian solar calendar, established in 1582, contains only 365 days.
Scientists estimate that if we did not add an extra day to our shortest month every four years, we would lose almost six hours annually. In a century, our calendar would be off by about 24 days. Ramifications of this could include seasons being altered, with winters and snow in July in the Northern Hemisphere. A leap year adds an extra day at the end of February to keep the calendar “synchronized with the astronomical or seasonal year.”
In many cultures, leap years have been shrouded in superstition. It was considered inauspicious to enter into matrimonial vows on any month during a leap year. And it was in the leap year of 1616 when two giants in the world of literature died a day apart – Cervantes and Shakespeare – adding fuel to the fire of fearing the time period.
While February 29 does not appear on every year’s calendar, it is not a fictitious date. It is listed on all legal documents, including driver’s licenses and passports. The superstitions that once