Psychology behind leap year birthdays
This year is not a leap year! But as February ends it begs the question; when do those who have birthdays on February 29 celebrate their birthdays in a non-leap year? Also how often do leap years occur? “Leapers” or “leaplings” are those lucky people born on February 29 and they get to choose their birthday and every 4 years they get to celebrate their birthday on the actual day!
Holly Parker, a lecturer on the study of psychology of close relationships at Harvard explains that choosing your birthday is a quirky aspect of being born on the 29th of February. “There’s no other birthday that offers as much freedom.” For some “leapers” they celebrate on February 28th and for some that are born later in the day on February 29th, they celebrate their birthday on March 1.
Birthdays carry social weight so when it comes to Bar Mitzvahs and Quinceaneras (coming of age ceremonies for boys and girls), milestones can be frustrating. It can also lead to feelings of isolation and loneliness for school aged kids. However, parents can combat these feelings by creating fun projects that include the family to illustrate the many reasons why a “leapling” birthday is so special.
For those that are born in the leap year and those that are not, it’s good to remember that it’s an extra day in the year and we can all do something fun with the extra time.