Fairy Hill resident Snow Ellis was born on the February 29, 1932 and today turns 80 or is it 20?
Fairy Hill resident Snow Ellis was born on the February 29, 1932 and today turns 80 or is it 20?

He's turning 20 today

SNOW Ellis of Fairy Hill is one of a kind.

He was born on February 29 - a date that only comes around every four years.

As a kid he was nicknamed Snow because of his light-coloured hair and everyone, including his bank, has called him Snow since.

"My cheques and bills get sent to Snow. If they do use my first name, they'll put Snow in brackets," he said.

The canny dog trainer owns five canines named Sparky, Bruiser, Angus, Bob and Ace.

His life sounds like a rollicking fairytale but the modest Mr Ellis will tell you he's just an ordinary bloke.

Today is a day that only rolls around every four years and it's extra special because Snow turns 80. He said being born on February 29 was just like having a birthday any other day.

"It doesn't really matter to me," he said. "You're still getting old aren't you?"

People born on February 29 can only see their birth date on a calendar every four years. Mr Ellis said the years in between had their perks.

"You can have two birthdays if you want - one on February 28 and one on March 1."

He said being born on a day that only rolls around every four years was an effective way to stay young.

"You have a proper birthday every four years, so I'm really only 20."

However, some people do forget his birthday when the date isn't on their calendars, he said.

"It doesn't worry me, though. I forget about it when it's not on the cal- endar."

He said he had never met another person born on February 29.

He will celebrate with a birthday party this weekend and 120 people are expected to attend. Several musicians will also perform.

Mr Ellis was most excited about being in good company.

"My mate is coming down from Rockhampton; that's a fair way to travel," he said.

"We'll sit around and talk about dogs and cows, I suppose."

Leap years have been around for 2000 years. The earth rotates slightly more than 365 times a year and the extra day aimed to get calendars back in synchronisation with the seasons.

Traditionally, February 29 has been a source of superstition. Irish folklore says it is the one day a woman can propose to a man.

Some people believed if a man refused a proposal on a leap day, he had to buy her 12 pairs of gloves.

With so much superstition surrounding February 29, Mr Ellis could well be faced with a marriage proposal, or two, today.

Leap Year Facts

The earth rotates slightly more than 365 times a year

Leap years re-synchronise the calendar with the earth's rotation

Leap years have been around for 2000 years

Folklore states a woman can propose to a man on February 29. One tradition held that if he refused the proposal on a leap day, he had to buy her gloves

People born on a leap day in Scotland used to be considered unlucky



'Lynch mob mentality' forces festival cancellation

premium_icon 'Lynch mob mentality' forces festival cancellation

UM-linked Girl to Woman Festival axed on eve of council vote

'You've inherited $17m': local scammed in black money rort

'You've inherited $17m': local scammed in black money rort

Northern Rivers local scammed $80,000

Airing dirty laundry on domestic violence

premium_icon Airing dirty laundry on domestic violence

Taboo subject taken to the streets

Local Partners