Leap Day celebrations: Weddings, birthday joy, perspectives on ‘limited edition’ instance of time

A leap day only comes around once every four years. Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons

by Wilfred Pilo and Marlynda Meraw

KUCHING, Feb 29: As the world experiences another leap year, the rare occurrence of an extra day on Feb 29 has brought moments of joy and reflection for many.

In conjunction with the leap day, the DayakDaily Team has gone on a hunt to search for any happenings on this propitious day that comes only once every four years.

It is a day of joy for 24-year-old newlyweds, Robin Easter Robert and Slyvia Murai Boniface as they officiated their union at the National Registration Department (JPN) Kuching.

According to the couple, they were unaware of the date as it was the only slot made available to them by the registration office.

“Yes, the leap year rarely happens, and I guess it’s good for men who tend to forget important dates,” Gerald Lang, witness of the couple’s wedding, joked with DayakDaily.

Meanwhile, the St Francis’ Church Kota Samarahan is adorned with yet another wedding uniting Umbreson Henly Jumali and Christee Ernee Gemong.

“We had this planned for a very long time,” shared the cheery couple.

Reflecting on the wedding reception of the latter newlyweds, Father Kelvin Jawa shared that it is his first time solemnising a couple on a leap day throughout his entire priesthood.

Robin and Slyvia (left) and Umbreson and Christee (right) during their leap day weddings on Feb 29, 2024.

Those born on Feb 29 are known as ‘leaplings’ or ‘leapers’; one of whom hails from Segamat, Johor and is currently furthering his studies at Kuching as a teacher.

“I always feel grateful for the birthday wishes as it only comes once every four years, and when it comes, I feel like I’m the happiest man in the world,” Muaz Al Faruq Kamarulzaman shared during his interview.

Another fellow local leapling known as Bobby Dickson Forster Sadi, a senior lecturer from Cyberjaya University, told DayakDaily that he is currently celebrating his “sweet fifteenth”.

“It feels strange to celebrate my 15th and 60th birthday simultaneously. I will need to work for another 45 years for my retirement,” he joked when asked how he felt about having his birthday fall on a leap day.

Rusnan Mustafa, a fellow media member and the third leapling we engaged with today is celebrating his 36th year, although according to the number of years he’s celebrated, it should only be his ninth.

Perhaps being born on a leap day is truly the secret to eternal youth.

Today’s leaplings, featuring Rusnan (left), Bobby (centre), and Muaz (right).

Upon asking the locals regarding today’s date, many were not aware of its rarity until it was pointed out. Among the few was Chris, a 31-year-old game shop assistant.

“To be honest, today holds no special meaning to me. It is just another day,” he replied when asked if the leap day held any special significance for him.

According to 23-year-old chocolatier named Ezekiel, he said that he was expecting customers to make purchases considering that it was a leap day and especially since it was nearing the end of the week.

However, perspectives differed as we interviewed the management team of a classy jewelry store, Fatin and Syaza.

“Today is a dangerous date to find a boyfriend,” Fatin laughed. “It’s not an entirely good day to get into a relationship”.

“Anniversaries and celebrations would be once every four years. Which is a good way to save money,” said Syaza reflectively.

Game shop assistant, Chris (left), jewelry store management team, Syaza and Fatin (centre), and chocolatier, Ezekiel (right).

The DayakDaily team had tried to reach out to various hospitals concerning the number of births for today, however, they were unreachable.

For those who are born today, they will have to wait for another four years to celebrate their first birthday, so be patient! — DayakDaily