A special day that does not occur every year…

Posted: February 29, 2012 in Did you know?, Informative, Short Story
Tags: , ,

We don’t get this day – 29th February – every year, so instead of waiting another 4 years to blog about this, hey, why not write about today as a special tribute to those who only get the opportunity to cut their birthday cake once every four years!

The current standard calendar used by most countries is based on the Gregorian calendar, named after the man who first introduced it – Pope Gregory XIII – in February 1582.

“Shock” year

In the Dutch language, the leap year is called “Schrikkeljaar” which is a pun for “shock” or “to skip”.

People born on the 29th of February will immediately be 4 years older on their supposedly first birthday! That’s a “shock” to the birthday celebrant. The definition of “leap” also means “to skip”, “to jump” or “to move forward”, hence skipping the last 3 birthdays and becoming four years older all of a sudden. That’s shocking, indeed…

It’s Math time!

We know that a leap year has 366 days, while we normally count a year with the equivalent of 365 days.  The extra day in a leap year is needed because the earth does not orbit around the sun in precisely 365 days.

The simple rule I learnt in Primary (or Grade) school was, if the year is evenly divisible by 4, it is a leap year, hence the year we are in now: 2012 / 4 = 503 (with no decimals) is definitely a leap year.

But of course, there are always exceptions. If the year can be evenly divided by 100, it is NOT a leap year, UNLESS the year is also evenly divisible by 400.

The year 2000 was a leap year: 2000 / 4 = 500, and if you continue dividing the outcome by 100, you get an even number 5 (500 / 100).

The year 1900 may appear to be a leap year, if you used the simple rule: 1900 / 4 = 475, however, if you divide that outcome by 100, you will end up with a non-integer outcome of 4.75, which is definitely NOT a leap year.

The nearest millennium from now that will be a leap year will be year 2400! Erm… I’ll not be there, but that’ll be for my great (13 times great) grand children to experience! And my blog will be an antique – a masterpiece, by then * wink * LOL!

Of self-indulging and inducing

By the way, my younger son was born on 28th February eleven years ago (yep, it was his birthday yesterday). Fortunately, or unfortunately, the year he was born was NOT a leap year.

My son was born in Kuching and he “arrived” 25 days too early!  The very pregnant me touched down Kuching airport on 14th February and I had only two short and quick weeks of binging on the local foods and delicacies.  My last meal – on 27th February – was devouring on a plate of “aromatic” belacan beehoon for dinner. LOL!  The poor foetus must be tossing and turning like mad, screaming for Oxygen.  That night, when I wanted to go to the toilet to pee, and just after getting out of bed and about half way to entering the loo….gush… my water bag broke!  Forget the pee. My younger sister and my mum rushed me to the clinic and the rest is history.  My son was born at 3.45pm on 28th February, 2001.

To all the new “daring” mothers out there, if you want to “induce” your foetus, go glut on this awesome belacan beehon. Tried and tested. Ha ha ha…

AND to all birthday celebrants on this special day and year:  Have a super leapin’ birthday.  Try gorging on 4 birthday cakes for a start. 😀

Have a great day!



  1. Chris says:


    First of all, Happy Belated Birthday to your son. Hope it was a fun one! I agree with you…I think the belachan beehoon did it or it could have been the binging. If only he could tell us. 😀

  2. Angel says:

    Kiefer was induced by means of Mee Siam! Had a nice plate of it the day before he came out! Hahaha!!!

  3. X says:

    Well, I won’t be able to verify your theory anymore :)))

  4. Nasifriet says:

    Thanks, Chris. I told him the story, but he has no clue what belacan beehoon is and how it tastes like. Most certainly, in our next trip back to KCH, will introduce him to this awesome dish. 😀

  5. Nasifriet says:

    There you go. Everyone has her own stories and experience to share. At least mee siam is not THAT pungent. LOL!

    Speaking of mee siam, should find a good recipe for that one day..

  6. Nasifriet says:

    could it be sarawak laksa?? 😛

  7. Dada says:

    yup. I totally remember tht day 27th feb. Gosh the belacan bee hoon was totally too mekut for Kev. Hahaha…Red light pun i langgar…sik duli agik. Tegal beliang kakak aku mok branak. Hehehe

  8. Nasifriet says:

    Thanks Da. You’re the best. Don’t know what to do without you. I think I still have mum’s sarong – the one you placed for me to lie on at the back seat of your car… Niels only told me abt the msg this morning! Dah basik 2 days.

  9. X says:

    Will try on my future daughter-in-law in 20 years time! Haha!

  10. Nasifriet says:

    LOL! Hope your future DIL will not be too fussy with Asian food…

  11. X says:

    I will not approved if she doesn’t fancy our awesome dishes! Haha! Still living in the stone age 🙂

  12. Nasifriet says:

    Agree, that means we r treasuring our customs/ roots. Must pass this on to our kids.. 🙂

  13. MaryMoh says:

    What a great story to read but sure make my heart miss a few beats to hear your water bag bursted too early! All because of the belachan beehoon..haha. You are sure one daring mom 😀

  14. Nasifriet says:

    LOL! But that does not deter me from eating belacan beehoon whenever I can get my hands on it 😀 I never cook a belacan dish while in Europe (hubby’s not too keen), but dried shrimps, yes. My younger son loves dried shrimps (hay bee). Maybe I should cook up something with belacan one of these days!!

  15. […] And that was the day when our lives changed completely. We were no longer two, but three and counting 😉 My second experience was an exact opposite. Baby could not wait to come out. You can read my experience here […]

  16. […] years ago today, I was reminiscing about a “life coming out within me” – the birth of my younger son. He was born on 28th Feb. Yup, he turned 15 yesterday! […]

  17. […] baby K arrived almost 4 weeks too soon! You can read about his special birth on this post, “A special day that does not occur every year“. […]

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