Happy Birthday to the ‘leapers’! Meet the people who only get to celebrate their birthday every four years

Alfie James was born on a leap year and is celebrating his 4th birthday. Picture: Matthew Usher.

Alfie James was born on a leap year and is celebrating his 4th birthday. Picture: Matthew Usher.

They only get to celebrate their birthday every four years and are part of an exclusive club with just under five million members around the world.

Reneé Grace Donaldson

Reneé Grace Donaldson - Credit: Archant

And today these 'leapers' – the name given to those born on February 29 in a leap year – intend to make the most of their day.

Alfie James, from King's Lynn, will finally be able to celebrate his first birthday at the age of four. The youngster enjoyed a party at the Reffley Community Hall yesterday but his mother Sophie Nicol said he isn't aware anything is different.

She said: 'I didn't realise until I was home a few days after he was born. I felt a bit sad as he couldn't celebrate his birthday until this year. We're going to cram a lot in to celebrate.'

Although Amie Evans is 32 years old she has only celebrated eight real birthdays. The supply teacher from Norwich was born at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in King's Lynn. Only four girls were born at the hospital that day but all four were called Amy.

Amie Evans (right) celebrating her birthday with friends

Amie Evans (right) celebrating her birthday with friends - Credit: Archant

Mrs Evans said: 'Celebrating my eighth birthday in the pub was funny. It's something different to tell people and something not many people can say. My children love it as one is older than me because he's 11 and the other will be the same age as me on their next birthday.

'On my 20th I went to a leap day party with other leapers and my cousin's daughter was born on a leap year.'

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The chances of having a birthday on a leap day are very slim with the odds at one in 1,461.

February 29th is also traditionally the one day where women can propose to their partners.

Major events that have happened during a leap year include Hattie McDaniel becoming the first African American to win an Academy Award. The actress was given the award for her role in Gone with the Wind in 1940.

The Summer Olympic Games and the US presidential elections are always held in a leap year.

Also celebrating her birthday today is 12-year-old Reneé Grace Donaldson from Thetford.

Are you celebrating your birthday today? Did you propose to your partner on February 29th? Email rebecca.murphy@archant.co.uk

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