From the category archives:

Leap Year

Leap Day Birthdays in iCal Workaround

by Bruce on February 27, 2011

I’m on a mission to help the world code systems that handle leap day events like birthdays.  First stop iCal.  My sons birthday only shows in iCal on leap year.  I found a workaround on the Apple support discussion forum.

  • Remove the birthday field on the contact card.
  • Make a new event on the 28th of Feb, and set it to recur every year.
  • Drag the event to the Desktop, then delete it from iCal.
  • Use TextEdit (or similar) to edit the event on the desktop.
  • Find the RRULE line near the end of the file, probably just before END:VEVENT.
  • Change the RRULE line to read
  • RRULE:FREQ=YEARLY;INTERVAL=1;BYMONTH=2;BYMONTHDAY=-1
  • this says every year, in February, on the last day of the month). Save the file then drag it back from the Desktop to iCal.

You don’t need the Desktop copy any more.

This is clearly a workaround, and not perfect since it’s not on the birthday calendar, but it will appear on the 29th on leap years, and the 28th on other years.

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