La Bougie du Sapeur

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

La Bougie du Sapeur
sans reproche
("without reproach")
TypeQuadrennial newspaper
Founder(s)Jacques Debuisson,
Christian Bailly
EditorJean d'Indy
Founded29 February 1980 (1980-02-29)
Headquarters17, rue Saint-Paul
Paris 75004
OCLC number474123818

La Bougie du Sapeur (French: [la bu.ʒi dy sa.pœʁ]) is a French satirical newspaper launched in 1980 that is published only on Leap Day,[3] making it the world's least frequently published newspaper.[4] The editor-in-chief is Jean d'Indy, who works for France Galop[2] and has been involved in producing the paper since 1992.[1]


La Bougie du Sapeur was created in 1980 by Jacques Debuisson and Christian Bailly, as a joke between friends.[5] The newspaper's name, which translates as 'The Sapper's Candle',[4] refers to Camember, a sapper in a comic created by Georges Colomb in 1896.[2][6] The fictional Camember was born on 29 February and joined the army when he had celebrated his birthday only four times.[3]


The paper is published every four years on 29 February; as of 2024, 200,000 copies are printed and sold at newsagents and newsstands.[2] The price was €4.70 in 2016,[1] €4.90 in 2024.[2] Subscriptions are available – €100 per century[4] – and back issues are €15.[7] The paper is not published online.[2] The 2016 edition was the first to be sold in Belgium, Switzerland, Luxembourg, and Canada as well as France.[8]

The first edition of La Bougie du Sapeur – Dimanche, a special Sunday supplement, was published in 2004; the next edition will not be published until 2032.[9]

Profits from the 2008[10] and 2012[11] editions went to charity.


The paper is humorous,[2][12] self-described as "anti-politically correct".[2] A 2012 story on the end of the Euro led readers to believe that the paper supported the politics of the far‑right Front National, but the editor‑in‑chief maintained that the paper is apolitical.[8] The lead story in the 2024 edition was a commentary on artificial intelligence titled "We will all be intelligent"; the second lead was on problems of gender transitioning, titled "What men need to know before becoming women".[2]

In addition to articles, La Bougie du Sapeur includes a serialised story, "The Drowning in the Pool".[2]


  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 c d e f g h i j Schofield, Hugh (29 February 2024). "French readers enjoy La Bougie du Sapeur, world's only four-year newspaper". BBC News.
  3. ^ a b R.F. (1996). "'La Bougie du Sapeur', le journal qui tombe avant l'heure". L'Humanité (in French). Archived from the original on 7 December 2015.
  4. ^ a b c Creedon, James (29 February 2012). "La Bougie du Sapeur: the world's least frequent newspaper". Media Watch. Paris: France 24. Archived from the original on 4 April 2012.
  5. ^ Chainon, Jean Yves (29 February 2008). "France: La Bougie du Sapeur, every 29 February". Presse News. Editors Weblog. Archived from the original on 10 December 2015.
  6. ^ Birck, Danielle (2008). "Bissextile: La Bougie du Sapeur" (in French). Radio France International. Archived from the original on 27 February 2015.
  7. ^ "La Bougie du Sapeur". La Galcante (in French). Paris. Archived from the original on 10 December 2015. Retrieved 10 December 2015.
  8. ^ 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.
  9. ^ Nicolas, Eric (29 February 2012). "Demandez le journal!". L'Est républicain (in French). Nancy, France. ISSN 0240-4958. Archived from the original on 25 April 2015.
  10. ^ Pasteau, Benoist (23 February 2012). "Découvrez la Une de La Bougie du Sapeur". Europe 1 (in French). Archived from the original on 6 June 2013.
  11. ^ Beardsley, Eleanor (2012). "For Leap Day Only, A Rare Newspaper Goes To Print". Morning Edition. NPR. Archived from the original on 11 September 2015.
  12. ^ Hanne, Isabelle (29 February 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.