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29 February birthday celebrations for ‘leaplings’

Today – 29 February – marks Leap Day, which only comes around every four years. For one young boy in Co Meath, it meant a chance to celebrate both his 12th, or 3rd, birthday.

Leap year babies or ‘leaplings’ are incredibly rare, with the odds of being born on 29 February just one-in-1,461.

The reason that the Gregorian calendar has leap years is that Earth takes about 365-and-a-quarter days to travel around the sun. If there were no leap years, the seasons would be affected as they would slowly but surely begin earlier each year.

29 February this year meant a chance for Ben Caffrey from Curraha in Co Meath – who was born in 2012 – to celebrate his birthday on the actual date itself for just the 3rd time.

Ben Caffrey got to celebrate his 12th, or 3rd, birthday today

“I like to milk it, so I usually celebrate it on 1 March and 28 February,” he told RTÉ’s News2Day.

“It’s cool, it’s kind of fun as well because when I don’t have a real birthday, at least I know have those two days before and after.”

He added: “It’s kind of odd, this is my third time celebrating it on the proper day”.

Ben’s younger brother Max, who is six, said his brother “is 12 and three”.

Asked how he feels about being ‘older’ than his older brother, he said: “It’s kind of nice”.

Out of a worldwide population of over 8 billion, only around 5 million will celebrate their birthday on 29 February.

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