It's leap day! Here's a list of freebies and fun facts to celebrate


Happy leap day!

Feb. 29 comes around almost every four years – it's an add-on day that's needed to keep our modern day calendar in alignment with the Earth's revolutions around the sun. (TimeAndDate.com goes into all the technical details here.)

It takes about 365.24 days for the earth to circle once around the sun. So it's more of a catch-up day than a leap day, astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson told the New York Times.

And if we didn't have leap day, the calendar would be off by about six hours every year – after 100 years, the calendar would be off by around 24 days, TimeAndDate.com says.

So Monday would actually be July 15, 2017, the Los Angeles Times explains.

Because it's an extra day added to the calendar, salaried employees are actually working for free today, the Telegraph says in its list of 20 crazy leap day facts.

Leap day deals and freebies

Monday marks the first real birthday for about 200,00 Americans since 2012, About.com says. And those leap day babies can take advantage of free food specials, the New York Times notes.

Pizza Hut is among the restaurants giving away free food to "leapers," the Huffington Post reports. The restaurant chain is giving out free one-topping Personal Pan Pizzas to carryout customers who show their ID to prove they are a leap day baby.

Several other national chains are giving away free food. At Hard Rock Cafe, leaplings can order a free entree off of the special Leaplings Eat Free menu on Monday, Olive Garden has a coupon for those born on leap day, and Buca di Beppo is giving leap year babies a free spaghetti and meatball plate.

Arby's is offering a special vegetarian menu that's available for just one day, Mashable reports. And if it goes well, Arby's will bring back the meat-free menu every Feb. 29. (It doesn't have to be your birthday to take advantage of the meal.)

Krisby Kreme also has a deal – if you buy a dozen doughnuts, you can get a dozen original glazed for $2.29.

There are also bargains for those who aren't born on leap day. Several retailers are offering special sales, including Foot Locker, Lids, Aeropostale, Lane Bryant, Land's End and Urban Outfitters, the Huffington Post says.

And the New York Times lists out a bunch of travel and hotel companies that are offering deals across the country. The Huffington Post also names a few too, including online travel booking companies that are offering a 29 percent discount.

How common are leap day babies?

Leap day babies are actually less common than you might think.

FiveThirtyEight dug into how common it is for a child to be born on leap day, finding the number of Feb. 29 birthdays is actually 7 percent fewer than what statistics say there should be.

That could be because many mothers try to avoid delivering on the date, so they schedule induced labor or cesareans on a different day, the publication says.

So how do those leap day babies celebrate? National Public Radio talked to several people about how they celebrate their quadrennial birthday.

The St. Cloud Times spoke to a Clearwater woman who is celebrating her 16th birthday (she'll really be turning 64). Her grandson is turning 16 soon too, so they celebrated together.

Inforum News Service talked to people who celebrate their wedding anniversary on leap day.

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