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February 29: We are special breed – birthday celebrants

A leap year occurs once every four years to account for the extra time it takes for the earth to complete its orbit around the…

A leap year occurs once every four years to account for the extra time it takes for the earth to complete its orbit around the sun.

This adjustment is necessary to keep the calendar year synchronised with the astronomical year.

People born on February 29, therefore, have a unique birthday that only comes around every four years. They often refer to themselves as a “special breed” or “special beings” due to the rarity of their birth date.

Some of the celebrants expressed joy and gratitude for the opportunity to celebrate their birthday in a way that set them apart from others.

For those born on February 29, celebrating birthdays can be a mixture of joy and challenges. While some see it as a blessing, others see it as awkward when comparing their birthday celebration to those who have annual birthdays.

Some Lagos residents born February 29, expressed their views about the day: Damilare Ijiwade, born February 29, 2009, described the day as “unique”.

She said, “For this rare and special opportunity, my daddy has planned a little get-together for me and my friends because of the uniqueness of the celebration.

“I give thanks to God for the benefit of seeing another birthday after four years.

“I feel great because my birthday is a very peculiar one that is being celebrated every four years. There is no need for me to be worried about it. I only put my mind on the fourth year.”

For Shadrach Akowonjo, born February 29, 2000, he said he felt awkward when others talked about celebrating their birthday every year.

He said, “Though it’s not funny at all, but all the same, I thank God, I will be visiting the orphanage.

“When others talk about birthdays every year, I feel awkward, but who am I to question God; that’s our fate, we accept it.”

For Favour Thompson, born February 29, 2008, she described the day as a day for “mysterious and special beings”.

She further said, “I feel and believe being born on such a date is a mystery. I am glad and honoured to celebrate this year.

“Though people mock me every year, it’s our turn to demonstrate God’s grace in our lives.

“What matters is that we remember we are increasing in age every year regardless of having February 29, or not.”

Also speaking, Rev Fr Anthony Afariogun, Chaplain of Our Lady Queen of Peace Catholic Chaplaincy, Adeyemi Federal University of Education, Ondo State, said celebrating once in four years was divine.

He said, “Celebrating birthday once in four years is divine. They have the opportunity of saving money for the next four years and prepare very well. It also gives them opportunity to reflect on their lives and see how to serve God better.

“Birthday is not a compulsory celebration, it’s a time of gratitude and appreciation. Time to look back and see what God has done in the past, present and future.” (NAN)


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