By Martha Nyam
Jos – For what seem to be normal for most people who celebrate their birthdays every year, some who are born on Feb. 29, see it as very special as they get to celebrate it every four years.
News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that a leap year occurs once every four years, which has 366 days.
A leap year is a calendar year that contains an additional day added to keep the calendar year synchronized with the astronomical year or seasonal year.
The Gregorian calendar, which now serves as the standard calendar for civil use throughout the world, has both common years and leap years.
Some individuals who spoke to NAN in Jos on Saturday and are celebrating their occasional birthdays and births described the day as ‘very special’.
Mrs Chizitere Okwor, a Media Content Developer, said being born on Feb. 29 was special and ‘stressful’.
“Having being born on February 29 seem very special because that date doesn’t occur in every calendar year, so I see it as special.
“But over the years, I have had to deal with the stress of being a leap year/day born. For instance, when I am doing an online registration on a year that isn’t a leap year and input 29th February, it sometimes do come back as error.
“Facebook too used to be really confused on which day to pick as my birthday on years that are not leap year, so I think they just decided to give me two days to celebrate, 28th and 1st of March.
“One time when I was in the University, year one to be precise, i had few friends come over for a small feast to mark my day, quite fortunately, they came along with nice gifts and beautiful cards.
“Until my roommate decided to start screaming, “it’s not her birthday, she lied, it’s not her birthday.
Okwor stated that while so many people believed she didn’t have an actual birthday, she also have never also met a Birthday mate in reality, as such, feels very weird and ends up having to always defend her birthday to many.
Having a birthday once every four years does have its downsides, this was according to Miriam Geyock, a resident of Mangu Local Government Area of Plateau state.
“When I’m filling in my date of birth online, i have to do it backwards. You have to find the year on the dropdown menu before the day, otherwise 29 February won’t appear,”.
“But other than that, it’s not really annoying. I really enjoy celebrating it with a few people around the world, that’s the most special part of it for me, I’m just like the Queen’, she says.
However, Matthew Dimlong, said he did not have any issue having his birthday on February 28 or 29, adding that being alive mattered most than having an actual birth date.
A mother, Mrs Esther Izam on her part, said that she marks her son’s birth on Feb. 28 and March 1, having given birth to her son in 2001 which was not a leap year.
Izam said that she hoped her child arrived a day earlier so that she would not have to deal with the confusion that came with leap year birthdays.
“I had hoped to give birth to my child on Feb. 28 when i went into labour on that day, but the moment my son was born on Feb. 29, 2001, I immediately had every intention to celebrate future birthdays on both 28 February and 1 March.
“So we get to celebrate him on the 28th and March 1, I see him as my special child also because that he is the last child in the house,” she said. (NAN)