Baby Alex Duncan, with Mum Kasia and her husband Chris, was born on Sunday 02/02/2020 - the last palindromic date this century. Picture: Naomi Jellicoe
Baby Alex Duncan, with Mum Kasia and her husband Chris, was born on Sunday 02/02/2020 - the last palindromic date this century. Picture: Naomi Jellicoe

Happy palindrome day to baby born on rare date

When the calendar clicked over to 02/02/2020 on Sunday, few people realised what a momentous date it was.

In common Australian date format, it was a palindrome - meaning the numbers read the same backwards and forwards.

The term was first coined in 1638 and derives from the Greek words palin (again) and dromos (way or direction).

Unfortunately, if you missed it, this is the only time such a date will occur this century with the next palindrome date happening on 12/12/2121. After that, you'll have to wait until 03/03/3030.

But if you are in the minority and put your month first, and then your days, make sure you mark February 12 next year in your calendar.

For people using that dating convention, February 12 will be written 12/02/2021, which also reads the same backwards as forwards.

The previous palindrome date came 909 years ago, on 11/11/1111.

Back then, Pope Pashal II ruled and stirred up controversy by delaying the coronation of King Henry V, King of Germany and Italy, who was due on February 12 to be crowned Holy Roman Emperor.

The special day on Sunday was marked around the world, including the Royal Wedding Chapel in Las Vegas, although it was nowhere near as busy day for getting hitched as November 11, 2011.

While palindrome day was big news for maths fans, it is fair to say it was overshadowed in Australia by the Federal Government's China travel ban, Novak Djokovic's Australian open win and Senator Bridget McKenzie's resignation.

And in America, Super Bowl Sunday and Groundhog Day were a bit higher up in most people's minds.