What to do on leap day

Anica Graney, Design Director

As punishment for rounding up the length of our days here on Earth to 24 hours, the Gregorian calendar system has given us an extra day at the end of February. For those who don’t know, days are actually 23 hours and 56 minutes long, but clocks weren’t made to accommodate that amount of time in a perfect, circular fashion, so instead, we as a species decided that we’ll chuck those four imaginary minutes of every day onto the end of February to make this lovely month last just a little bit longer. This happens every four years unless if that year is divisible by 100 in which case it is not a leap year, with another exception being if that year is also divisible by 400 in which case it is, again, a leap year. No need to remember that last tidbit, since no one reading this will be around to see the year 2400. 

Not sure what to do on this extra day? Never fear, dear reader, I am here to help. We’re lucky this leap year as Feb. 29 falls on a Saturday, which means celebrating in the usual Wisconsin way gives you Sunday to recover from a celebratory leap day hangover. Looking to stay inside and have a relaxing night? Tune into Saturday Night Live at 10:30 pm and watch John Mulaney host for the third time in three years with musical guest David Byrne. If neither of those tickle your fancy, feel free to spend the day how you normally would, completely unaware that it is leap day until you read on the internet somewhere that it is, in fact, Feb. 29 to which you will think, “huh, cool,” and move on with the rest of your day. 

Looking back in remembrance, leap days were the date for a couple historical events. In 1692, leap day was celebrated in Salem by accusing three women of witchcraft, kicking off the Salem Witch Trials. In 1960 the first Playboy Club was opened in Chicago, and in 1968 the Beatles’ “Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” won a Grammy Award for Album of the Year. So, if you really want to spend this leap day right, visit your local Playboy Club and accuse the bunnies working there of witchcraft while listening to “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds.” Take this chance while you have it, because you only get this excuse once every four years.