Leap Day: When do people born on February 29th actually come of age?

Model Lena Gercke, footballer Benedikt Höwedes, ZDF presenter Norbert Lehmann and around 55,000 other people in Germany have their birthday this Thursday - and can celebrate it properly for the first time since 2020.

Leap Day: When do people born on February 29th actually come of age?

Model Lena Gercke, footballer Benedikt Höwedes, ZDF presenter Norbert Lehmann and around 55,000 other people in Germany have their birthday this Thursday - and can celebrate it properly for the first time since 2020. Anyone who was born on the so-called Leap Day is otherwise spoiled for choice – at least in their private lives: impatiently bring their own celebration forward or only invite them on March 1st?

However, when it comes to legal deadlines and dates, things are clear in Germany. The Civil Code regulates in Section 188, Paragraph 3: "If the relevant day for expiry of a period determined by months is missing in the last month, the period ends with the end of the last day of that month."

In plain language, this means that anyone born on February 29th is the same as someone born on March 1st in non-leap years - and will come of age at the end of February 28th.

And why does leap day even exist? The Earth doesn't need exactly 365 days to orbit the sun, but rather 365 days, five hours and about 49 minutes. To compensate for this, an additional day is added every four years. Nevertheless, the calendar year is still 27 seconds behind - which would have to be compensated for in around 2,800 years.

Also read:

Look in the photo gallery above: The pictures of the day take you all over the world - and sometimes tell about big things, sometimes about small things.

Sources: Federal Statistical Office, Civil Code

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