Leap Day busy one at Tallinn Vital Statistics Office

Tallinn Vital Statistics Office on Pärnu mnt.
Tallinn Vital Statistics Office on Pärnu mnt. Source: Priit Mürk/ERR

February 29, or Leap Day, only comes around once every four years, and while some people want to time their special days to coincide with the unique date, others avoid it like the plague. Sunday's edition of ETV news broadcast "Aktuaalne kaamera" looked into how Saturday's extra calendar day went at the maternity hospital as well as the Vital Statistics Office in Tallinn.

Leap Year comes once every four years, and connected to it are several folk beliefs. For those getting married, it's a suitable day to register their marriage. For those born on the 29th, however, their exact birthday can only be celebrated every four years.

"Three specialists told me that I would give birth on February 29," new mother Tatjana Semtšenkova said. "This was very unusual news. I myself believed that I'd give birth on March 1. But it ultimately happened that I was induced and gave birth sooner."

Going forward, the family can celebrate the child's birthday together with relatives on February 28 and together with other children on March 1, she added.

A total of ten babies were born at East Tallinn Central Hospital (ITK) on Leap Day this year: seven boys and three girls.

Leap Day is a popular date at Tallinn's Vital Statistics Office as well.

"February 29 is a busy day this year," Vital Statistics Department director Karin Kask said on Saturday. "More young couples are registering their marriages today than on some other date. As it falls on a Saturday this year, 14 marriages are being registered at the Tallinn Vital Statistics Office today."

According to Laura Reinurm, it was a conscious decision to get married on February 29. "It's such a special date that doesn't come each year; that's why we chose February 29," she said.

Husband Renno Reinurm added that the couple plans on celebrating their wedding anniversary every four years. They haven't decided yet what, if anything, they would do next year.

Leap Day is considered a women's holiday, with the tradition dating back to Ireland, where Sts. Brigid and Patrick agreed during the 5th century that women themselves could court men on February 29.

"Laura had hinted that she would not be the one to propose; I had to take on the difficult duty myself," the groom said.


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Editor: Aili Vahtla

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