February 29 comes along every four years, and on this rare day, we’ll tell you about a newspaper that’s only published every four years: the leap day paper known as La Bougie du sapeur.

In English the name means “The Sapper’s Candle.”

It’s a reference to a comic character from the 19th century who had a birthday on February 29, and so by the time he was old enough to join the military he’d only had four birthdays.

In 1980, two friends began publishing the paper as an inside joke, but then started distributing it more widely.

While each issue does look back at the news of the previous four years, you wouldn’t exactly call this a newspaper, since the focus is more on jokes and silliness.

Like how in daily newspapers you can usually find the solution for the Monday crossword puzzle in Tuesday’s paper?

They’re putting the solution to their 2016 crossword in the 2024 edition.

One of the paper’s guiding principles is, as the editor puts it, “laughter is good for your health.”

The other is that there’s a certain kind of joy that comes from waiting for something and then savoring it when it finally arrives.

If so, La Bougie du sapeur has been spreading a lot of good health and joy.

Some years they’ve sold more than 200,000 copies, with net proceeds going to charity.

They did once offer budget-conscious readers a special deal, where they could subscribe now and get all the issues for the rest of the century.

But they said that ended up being too hard to manage.

And besides, due to the complex rules of the Gregorian calendar, the year 2100 won’t be a leap year.

So that 2104 edition will have a lot to cover.

February 29 is apparently a popular day for people to get married.

I guess that way you don’t have to worry about forgetting your anniversary most years?

Anyway, the county clerk in San Diego is among those who announced they would take walk-in couples for this one day, in case people decided to make the most of Leap Day with a wedding.

Or you can think about it for another four years.

The Newspaper That is Published Only on 29th February (Amusing Planet)

San Diego County accepting walk-ins for couples wanting to get married on Leap Day (FOX 5 San Diego)

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Photo by Judy van der Velden via Flickr/Creative Commons