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Leap year baby benefits


Krista Wood is a leap year baby. This year shell actually be able to celebrate her birthday on Feb. 29.

TRURO - Growing up and missing birthdays could have its drawbacks at times but it could also prove lucrative says leap year baby Krista Wood.
Being a leap year baby has proved beneficial over the years, says Wood.
Today marks her 32nd birthday in "normal" years and her eighth birthday in leap years.
"I used to drag it out a couple of days when I was younger and celebrate it on Feb. 28 and March 1," chuckled Wood. "As you get older birthdays aren't always something you want to celebrate as much. When it's not a leap year, I tend to celebrate on March 1."
Because this is a leap year, Wood will get to enjoy her actual birth date on time.
"It's strange, but I don't feel that I miss out on anything other years. It's a neat conversation piece, though," she told the Truro Daily News before pausing. With a smile erupting, she added: "Maybe I should expect four years of gifts," she laughed.
That would not be an oddity for Wood. When she was a youngster her grandfather would present the grandchildren with $10 for their birthday. Wood sometimes received $40 to make up for the "missing" years.
In fact, Wood has become accustomed to being the brunt of teasing when Feb. 29 does roll around.
"Because this is technically my eighth birthday, someone suggested I have a birthday party with princess hats," she chuckled.
Wood also keeps track of her leap year age so she'll know when her son is technically older than her.
"He'll be four in August. When I turn 40 he'll be 12 and I'll be 10 in leap years ... how strange is that?"
Not everything about being a leap year baby has been comical, though. Wood has run into some technical problems when dealing with the date Feb. 29.
"Especially electronics. Some wouldn't allow me to enter Feb. 29 to the system ... it would come up as an invalid date."

What is a leap year?
A year in which one extra day has been inserted, or intercalated, at the end of February. A leap year consists of 366 days, whereas other years, called common years, have 365 days.

Which years are leap years?
In the Gregorian calendar, the calendar used by most modern countries, the following three criteria determine which years will be leap years:
1. Every year that is divisible by four is a leap year;
2. of those years, if it can be divided by 100, it is not a leap year, unless
3. the year is divisible by 400. Then it is a leap year.

Why are leap years needed?
They are to keep our calendar in alignment with the Earth's revolutions around the sun. A complete revolution around the sun takes approximately 365 days and six hours. Every four years, an extra 24 hours have accumulated, so one extra day is added to that calendar to keep the count co-ordinated with the sun's apparent position.

What is the longest time between two leap years?
The longest time is eight years. The last was between 1896 and 1904. The next time will be between 2096 and 2104.

Leap year has been the traditional time that women can propose marriage. When the rules of courtship were stricter, women were only allowed to pop the question on one day every four years. That day was Feb. 29.

Some people who were born on a leap year include:
- Pope Paul III
- Gioacchino Rossini, Italian composer
- John Philip Holland, Irish inventor
- Pepper Martin, baseball player
- Dinah Shore, American singer
- Henri Richard, Canadian hockey player

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