Happy leap day: Edmonton man set to celebrate 14th birthday

Gerry Haracsci will be celebrating his 14th birthday on Saturday, but he’s no kid.

Haracsci is a sales representative in the construction industry, has three grown children and a few grey hairs.

He was born on a leap day, meaning his birthday only comes around every four years.

“When people find out, when they look at your ID, you get all the jokes,” Haracsci said in an interview Friday with CBC Radio’s Edmonton AM. “My kids, they just laugh.

“My eight-year-old daughter was laughing about it and she tried to explain to her teacher that her daddy is going to be 14 years old this weekend.” 

Leap years occur every four years to account for the fact a year is slightly longer than 365 days. To even out the calendar, a 366th day — Feb. 29 — is added to the year.

As a child, Haracsci felt bilked by his birthdate.

“I don’t remember my first birthday which would have been my fourth, if that makes sense, but I remember every other one,” Haracsci said. 

“I remember my eighth, my 12th and 16th. Mom and dad would always do something special for me but it was once every four years. 

“I will get the ‘Happy Birthday!, sort of.’ You feel a little cheated, a little jaded, but it’s all good now.” 

‘A three-day party’

The unusual birth date can be a nuisance, even for an adult, Haracsci said. He rarely gets any birthday freebies from businesses and restaurants. Filling out government paperwork can be a hassle as his birth date rarely appears in automated systems.

Some people he encounters do not accept Feb. 29 is an actual date. 

Now having aged 56 years, Haracsci has found a loophole. While genuine celebrations are only possible every four years, on non-leap years, he celebrates anyway.

His 10th birthday has likely been the biggest bash so far. 

“Usually for me, it’s a three-day party,” he said. 

“My 10th birthday was my 40th birthday,” he said. “It was a huge surprise party that my wife got me so good on. ” 

This year Haracsci  plans to celebrate with dinner, drinks and a good long nap. 

 “I celebrated on my birthday eve and then we’re doing it again tomorrow. And then I’ll recover on Sunday. I already told the family, ‘Don’t bug me, I’m on the couch.'” 

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