La Bougie du Sapeur

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La Bougie du Sapeur
sans reproche
(“without reproach”)
La bougie du sapeur.png
Type Quadrennial newspaper
Founder(s) Jacques Debuisson,
Christian Bailly
Editor Jean d'Indy
Founded 29 February 1980 (1980-02-29)
Political alignment None (humorous)
Language French
Headquarters 17, rue Saint-Paul
Paris 75004
City Paris
Country France
Circulation 200,000[1]
ISSN 0761-6147
OCLC number 474123818

La Bougie du Sapeur is a humorous French newspaper launched in 1980 that prints only on Leap Day,[2] making it the world’s least frequently published newspaper.[3]


La Bougie du Sapeur was created by Jacques Debuisson and Christian Bailly as a joke between friends.[4] The newspaper's name, literally The Soldier’s Candle[3] refers to the Camember, a soldier in a comic book created by Georges Colomb in 1896.[5] In the story, Camember was born on 29 February and joined the army when he had celebrated his birthday only four times.[2]


The paper’s tenth edition was released in February 2016 and 150,000–200,000 copies of each edition are printed. It sells for € 4.70[1] from newsstands for one month,[6] but subscriptions are available – € 100 per century[3] – and back issues are € 15.[7]

2004 saw the first edition of La Bougie du Sapeur – Dimanche, a special series to be published every Sunday 29 February, which will not occur again until 2032.[8]

Profits from the 2008[9] and 2012[10] editions went to charity.

The 2012 edition of the paper featured a story on the end of the Euro which led readers to believe that the paper supported the politics of the far‑right Front national; the editor‑in‑chief maintains that the paper is apolitical.[11]

The 2016 edition was the first to be sold in Belgium, Switzerland, Luxembourg, and Canada.[11]


As of 2016, Jean d'Indy served as editor-in-chief and has worked for the paper since 1992.[1]


  1. ^ a b c "La Bougie du Sapeur sort son 10e numéro le 29 février" (in French). Paris: Europe 1. Agence France‑Presse. 26 February 2016. Archived from the original on 26 February 2016. 
  2. ^ a b F., R. (1996). "'La Bougie du Sapeur', le journal qui tombe avant l'heure". L’Humanité (in French). Archived from the original on 7 December 2015. 
  3. ^ a b c Creedon, James (2012). "La Bougie du Sapeur: the world's least frequent newspaper". Media Watch. Paris: France 24. Archived from the original on 4 April 2012. 
  4. ^ Chainon, Jean Yves (2008). "France: La Bougie du Sapeur, every 29 February". Presse News. Editors Weblog. Archived from the original on 10 December 2015. 
  5. ^ Birck, Danielle (2008). "Bissextile: La Bougie du Sapeur" (in French). Radio France International. Archived from the original on 27 February 2015. 
  6. ^ Hanne, Isabelle (2012). "'La Bougie du sapeur', le marronnier du 29 février". Libération (in French). Paris. ISSN 0335-1793. Archived from the original on 18 December 2015. 
  7. ^ "La Bougie du Sapeur". La Galcante (in French). Paris. Archived from the original on 10 December 2015. 
  8. ^ Nicolas, Eric (2012). "Demandez le journal !". L’Est républicain (in French). Nancy, France. ISSN 0240-4958. Archived from the original on 25 April 2015. 
  9. ^ Pasteau, Benoist (2012). "Découvrez la Une de La Bougie du Sapeur". Europe 1 (in French). Archived from the original on 6 June 2013. 
  10. ^ Beardsley, Eleanor (2012). "For Leap Day Only, A Rare Newspaper Goes To Print". Morning Edition. NPR. Archived from the original on 11 September 2015. 
  11. ^ a b Haddad, Marie‑Pierre (27 February 2016). "Année bissextile : La Bougie du Sapeur, ce journal qui ne sort que les 29 février" (in French). RTL. Archived from the original on 28 February 2016.