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The School Newspaper of Texas High School

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Four going on 16

Sophomore reminisces on having a leap-year birthday
Lyric Curtis
Sophomore Kunan Anjum holds a small birthday cake with a number four candle. As a tradition, every leap year his family puts on a leap year age candle instead of his actual age.

Family and friends gather around the party table singing “Happy Birthday.” After the candle is lit they gather as it gets blown out over the cake. Another birthday down, with four years left until the next.  

I was born on Feb. 29, 2008. You might be wondering “What’s so special about that date? It’s just another birthday.” A day on the calendar and nothing more than that. To that, I say you’re absolutely right.

It’s nothing more than a birthday, but what separates it from the rest is its presence on the calendar, or lack thereof.

The 29th of February is the result of a full year being 365.25 days (365.2422 to be exact), as opposed to the 365 we’re all familiar with. To have our calendar, and all of its respective months, in sync with the seasons, we’ve made three out of four years 365 days. 

That one remaining year, most commonly observed as a leap year, has one of the rarest birthdays possible, Feb. 29. The odds of one being born on the 29th are 1 out of 1,461. 

The self-proclaimed term for those born on Feb. 29 is “leapling.” As cool as it is to be born on the 29th, I must admit I hate that word. The main reason being that my parents have never called me that, and it sounds immature.

As far as traditions go, my family has never made any grand plans for my leap-year birthday. Although it is a special case, it’s still just a birthday in their eyes. When I was younger, we hosted a typical birthday party with friends and family. Now that I’ve grown out of the birthday “party” phase, I celebrate with my immediate family at dinner with a cookie cake.

One minor custom that we do for my actual birthday is to place the number of how old I am in leap years on the cake, and when it’s not a leap year I’ll just have the number I am in actual years on the cake. 

This year my family plans on doing just that. We’re going to get a cookie cake and a number 4 candle for my birthday this year. 

Although being born on Feb. 29 to some might seem like something very special, when all is said and done, it’s just a birthday. A very, very rare birthday. 

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About the Contributors
Kunan Anjum
Kunan Anjum, Staff writer
Kunan Anjum is a first-year staff writer for THS Publications. Apart from newspaper, he is involved in several other groups including Robotics Club and ASPIRE. Formerly a competitive tennis player for Texas High School, Anjum has moved on to other hobbies like hitting the gym, listening to music, and walking his dog. 
Lyric Curtis
Lyric Curtis, Visual Journalist/Staff Writer
Senior Lyric Curtis is a first year staff writer in THS Publications. She is also a first year photographer for the publications team. Curtis is a member of the varsity softball team at THS and has actively participated in Leader In Me for 4 years. She enjoys taking photos, hanging out with friends, laughing at any and everything and listening to her all-time favorite artist, Frank Ocean. Curtis hopes to pursue a career in dental hygiene and attend college at Texas A&M University at College Station. She wants everyone to feel heard and accepted because life is tough!

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