A baby born in Rotorua two days overdue will find that her proper birthday only comes around every four years.

Harper Matthews was born yesterday at 10am on a leap year. The newborn has a brother and sister.

Mother Brooke Thompson said her birthday celebrations each year would probably fall on March 1.

She said there would likely be big celebrations for Harper every leap year.


"Every four years is a while to wait for her proper birthday."

She said initially they had been hoping it wouldn't fall on a leap year because they thought it might be a bit sad for her to not have a proper birthday every year, but now having her on that day did not matter.

"I guess it's quite special being born on a leap year."

A leap year occurs nearly every four years and has 366 days rather than 365 in a normal year.

February 29 is an extra day added to the shortest month of the year almost every four years.

This is in order to keep the modern day calendar in alignment with the revolutions of earth around the sun.

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Weird and wonderful facts about leap years:

* In Ireland, February 29 is called Bachelor's Day, when women are allowed to propose to men.

* The chances of having a birthday on a leap day are about one in 1461.

* Two women have given birth to three leap day babies, according to the New York Daily News.

* One in five engaged couples in Greece will plan to avoid getting married in a leap year. They believe it is bad luck.

* In Russia, it is believed a leap year is likely to bring more freak weather patterns.

* In Taiwan, married daughters traditionally return home during the leap month as it is believed the lunar month can bring bad health to parents.

Source: International Business Times.