When is the Next Leap Year?

Leap Year Dates, History, and Folklore

January 17, 2019
29 Leap Year Fence

When is the next Leap Year? Find out when the next Leap Day will be and how to calculate Leap Years! Plus, we’ll explain why we have Leap Years and some fun folklore. 

What is a Leap Day?

A “Leap Day” is the extra day—February 29—which is added nearly every 4 years to today’s Gregorian calendar. The short explanation for this is that adding an extra day keeps our calendar aligned with the seasons. (Keep reading for the longer explanation!)

A “leapling” is a person born on a leap day. Any Leap Day babies out there? We’d love to hear from you in the comments below!

How Do You Know if it’s a Leap Year?

Here are the rules for leap years, just to set the record straight:

  • A year is a leap year if it is divisible by 4, but century years are not leap years unless they are divisible by 400. (So, the years 1700, 1800, and 1900 were not leap years, but the year 2000 was.)
  • Leap years have 366 days, rather than the usual 365.
  • Non–leap years begin and end on the same day of the week. 

When is The Next Leap Year?

Year Leap Year Day
2020 Saturday, February 29
2024 Thursday, February 29
2028 Tuesday, February 29

Why Do We Need Leap Years?

Our Earth calendar needs to stay aligned with the seasons! 

One orbit of Earth around the Sun takes 365.25 days—a little more than our Gregorian calendar’s nice, round number of 365.  Because our regular calendar does not account for the extra quarter of a day that the Earth requires to complete its orbit around the Sun, it doesn’t totally align with the solar year. 

Because of this .25 difference, our calendar gradually gets out of sync with the seasons. Adding an extra day, aka a “leap day,” to the calendar every 4 years brings the calendar in line and therefore realigns it with the seasons.

Without leap days, the calendar would be off by 5 hours, 48 minutes, and 45 seconds more each year.

After 100 years, the seasons would be off by 25 days!  Eventually the months we call February and March would be summer months in the Northern Hemisphere.

The extra leap day adjusts this drift. 

But it’s not a perfect match: Adding a leap day every 4 years overcompensates by a few extra seconds each leap year, adding up to about 3 extra days every 10,000 years. 

Leap Year Facts and Folklore

  • Ages ago, Leap Day was known as “Ladies Day” or “Ladies’ Privilege,” as it was the one day when women were free to propose to men. Today, Sadie Hawkins Day sometimes applies to Feb 29 (leap day), based on this older tradition.
  • According to folklore, in a leap year, the weather always changes on Friday.
  • “Leap year was ne’er a good sheep year” (old proverb)

Are Leap Years Bad Luck?

Many feel that to be born on Leap Day, thereby becoming a “leapling,” is a sign of good luck.

In some cultures, it is considered bad luck to get married during a leap year.

We don’t know of any evidence supporting that marriage theory, but we do know that during leap years:

  • Rome burned (64),
  • and the Titanic sank (1912).

By the same token, also in leap years:

  • the Pilgrims landed at Plymouth, Massachusetts (1620),
  • Benjamin Franklin proved that lightning is electricity (1752),
  • and gold was discovered in California (1848).

Do you have any Leap Year memories? Are you a Leapling yourself? Please share in the comments below!


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Reader Comments

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Todd Jeffery Tyler. Leapling

I have to say that being a leap year baby kind of sucked growing up as a kid I never knew if I was going to have any presents on my birthday because my mom said hope you don't have a birthday this year so you'll get your presents for Christmas. Therefore when my birthday actually came which would be March 1st I wasn't expecting to get anything and 99.9% of the time I did. However I also feel that being a late bling I don't age as fast as everyone else cuz I am 47 years old and I feel 25 literally please explain this one. Also my mom try to have all three of us boys on a leap year she had my youngest brother on February 27th 1984 which was a leap year she had my middle brother on March 21st of 1976. Why she want to have all three of us on leap year I have no clue however I was the lucky one I guess or was I?

Leap Year is produced by GOD=7_4 Theory

GOD=7_4 is a mathematical model/program/algorithm/initial condition/potential law of physics/'fractal'/alphanumeric code that explains many phenomenons. There are 4 primary lunar phases of roughly 7 days - ~7.4 days - each thus 4 weeks in a 'moonth'. Lunar year + 7 day week + 4 days = 365 day solar year. The lunar month is 29.53 days. If we use 7.4 days x 4 = 29.6 x 12 = 355.2 days + 7 day week + 4 days = 366.2 days.

The Julian Calendar established 7 thirty-one day months + 4 thirty day months + February's 28 (7x4) days. 7/4=July 4th or 7 April 30 AD: Good(7__4) Friday(74) when Jesus(74=J10+E5+S19+U21+S19) was nailed on(74) the Cross(74=C3+R18+O15+S19+S19). Y'shua(74) bar Yosef was born on 17.4.748 AUC / April 17, 6 BC.

Therefore, GOD=7_4 explains the lunar phases, lunar year, solar year, Roman Calendar, and Jesus' birthdate & date of Crucifixion.

Leap year baby

I'm a leap year baby born on 2-29-80 I hate it. Sucks really , does it mean anything???


2 29 72 here. I have always had fun with my birthday. I also take the 28th and the 1st to celebrate. It makes it easier to include more friends and family that way. Happy Birthday to all the other leaplings out there!!!!

A plot point in a Gilbert & Sullivan Operetta

In The Pirates of Penzance, Frederick (the young hero) was supposed to be apprenticed to a pilot, but his nursemaid, who was hard of hearing, mistakenly apprenticed him to a PIRATE. Just when he thinks himself finally free, the Pirate King reappears to inform him that his apprenticeship lasts until his "21st birthday" - but since he was born on February 29, he has to serve them until he is 84! Everything works out in the end, of course - the pirates all turn out to be members of the nobility and are pardoned, and Frederick gets to marry Major General Stanley's daughter. (Sorry about the spoilers, but it's not like the operetta was supposed to be a thriller!)


I am a leap year baby I have never heard of a leapling. There are other great facts here that I never knew. Thank You
Feb. 29 1956

Leap year

I was born Feb 29 1960 so it was fun when I was younger telling everyone that I was really 2 or 3 Then they would ask About March 1 and I would say no I was born In Feb Still to this day I think it funny how many things do not take Feb 29

Leap Day Baby

I am a Leap Day Baby, born 02/29/1964. I recall my mother telling me that she was so concerned when she went in labor. She thought it was her fault & that I would be mad at her for only having a birthday every 4 years. I was never mad, in fact, quite the opposite. I always felt like I was special compared to my sisters & in-life. For example, I was the only blonde in a family of brunettes/dark hair, pictures you will notice the big smile I had, I was naturally athletic, & was often told by other people that I had an attractive glow/aura about me. Being a Leap Day Baby to me just confirmed how unique I am.

As far as celebrating my birthday during non-Leap Day Years, I celebrate on both February 28th & March 1st. Why? It's only logical, really. When there is a February 29th it is the last day of the month, thus February 28th on non-Leap Day Years. However, February 29th falls where March 1st would be on non-Leap Day Years. So, I celebrate my birthday 2 days on non-Leap Day Years, but I refer to my real birthday of Leap Day as my "big deal" birthday.

Thanks for the opportunity to share my thoughts.

Leap Year Baby at 16/66

I prefer the term Leap Year Baby to leapling. Leap Year Baby is what I grew up with and is more common. I do not care for the term "leapling" at all. I am 16 in Leap Years until next year, 2020, which is Leap Year. Some Leap Day Babies call their non-Leap Day birthdays (3 out of 4 years) their "Un-Birthday." I always celebrate on February 28 - I tell everyone that my birthday is the last day of February - no matter what year it is!

I wish calendars always listed Leap Day on February 29th, but most don't acknowledge it, yet they list Ground Hog Day on Feb. 2! Both are based on the astronomical calendar system we use. (Ground Hog Day is half way through winter, which is based on solstices and equinoxes.) Do Farmer's Almanac calendars show Leap Day on Feb. 29?

There are several Facebook groups you can join if you or your child were born on Feb. 29: Honor Society of Leap Year Day Babies, and Leap Year Babies are a couple of them. It's fun to connect with people all over the world who share the same unusual birthday and run into the same problems and satirical comments. Like trying to open an account online where the system that requires you to add your birthday does not know to include February 29 as a choice! It's Twenty Nineteen, folks, and still not every company or city/county government office has figured out that someone can actually be born on Leap Day! Happy Un-Birthday this Feb. 28 to all of you out there who share my birthday!

Leap Day

The Editors's picture

To answer your question regarding Old Farmer’s Almanac Calendars: We do indeed label February 29 as Leap Day. Keep an eye on our online store for our 2020 calendars! 

Thank you!

I will let some of the Leap Day Baby sites know that Farmer's Almanac supports labeling Leap Day when it's Leap Year!

I'm a leap year baby. Only 16

I'm a leap year baby. Only 16 birthdays in my life. Only problem is...have to multiply times 4. (LOL) I have fun with it because people don't know which day to call me...so I tell them either is fine . In 2016 a restaurant I went to wrote "Happy 16th Leap Year Birthday" they wrotevit with icing on a plate..it was pretty cool!


To all those leaplings can I ask is do you only celebrate your birthday every 4 years or do you celebrate on Feb 28 or March 1 ?

Leap Year

I was born 2-29-1948. I am 17 in birthdays. I have always liked being born on leap day. My kids always loved it when they became older than me in birthdays. My youngest, when she became older than me, she went to school telling her teacher that she was now older than her mother. They asked her how could that be. So she explained

Leap Year

Leapling born 02-29-1964
It's easier now I'm older and don't care so much about birthdays! It's kind of fun having to only celebrate once every four years.

Leap year

I had identical twin girls on leap year 2/29/1988 it was 52 year between my twins and my twin Great aunts my twins are name after them

Leap year


Leap Day puppy

I have a miniature pincher pup. He was born leap day 2012. He is without a doubt the most mischievous dog I have ever had. It's like every thing he does, he is out to prove he is special. His mother and father are both red minis, he is a perfectly marked black. He jumps higher than seems possible, as long as his target is something to eat that he shouldn't have. No matter, I love him to pieces.

My birthday

Last year was my birthday (02/29/2016) and I was turning 12 years old, people in my class kept asking me how my birthday works. I explained it in the most simple way I can, by saying that an extra day is added in February, every 4 years passing, and for some reason, they are still confused by when I say that. And whenever something involving our ages is involved, they always have the nerve to make fun of my birthday by saying that I'm 3. Sometimes having a birthday on a leap year is a blessing and a curse. But at least I have the rarest birthday in the world. :)

Leap year

I was born in July, 2004. So am I really 3 years old?


2/29/84 on the off yrs when does everyone celebrate?

Leap year babies rule

I am a leap year baby born on 2,000 I am suppose to be sixteen but Since i am a leap year baby I am 4 years old

Leap Year Baby

Hi leapling, Happy sweet 16! And how fun to think you’re four-years-old.  Maybe have a party and include some four-year-old fun like blowing bubbles! :-)

No, honey

You're a leapling, not a Leap Year Baby.

Neil Armstrong and Buzz

Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin landed on the moon on July 20, 1969, that was a giant leap year.

...but not a real leap year.

...but not a real leap year.

My son was born 2/29/88 what

My son was born 2/29/88 what a beautiful day that was he's 7 in leap years but today he turn 28yrs old

leap dày

My first grand daughter was born on leap day 2012! She such a blessing and so smart.

A Great Marriage!

We were married on February 29, 2004. The minister who married us asked my husband how often we would celebrate our anniversary since it was on Leap Day...every four years? No, my husband responded. We will celebrate EVERYDAY... and we have. Looking forward to year 12 next Monday (or is that three ???)


Marriage on Feb 29 2016 3:30 in Santa Ana, California Court House
MAILE Pisces Monkey "(Laos)"
GEORGE Pisces Serpent "(Mex/Amer)"