It’s Leap Year Day, the event that only happens every four years on Feb. 29. And, for The Explorer, this year is extra special because it falls on a Wednesday.

The last time Feb. 29 fell on a Wednesday, it was in 1984. Leap Year falling on a Wednesday only happens every 28 years. That’s right folks, you are reading a special edition this week.

So, what do we do with this day? Do we treat it as just another day, or do we celebrate this extra day - this gift?

Leap Years are needed to keep the calendar in alignment with the Earth’s revolutions around the sun.

It takes the Earth approximately 365.242199 days (a tropical year) to circle once around the sun.

However, the Gregorian calendar has only 365 days in a year, so if we didn’t add a day on Feb. 29 every four years, we would lose almost six hours off our calendar every year. After only 100 years, our calendar would be off by approximately 24 days.

So, there’s what Leap Year is, but we now have to talk about what we can make of this extra day. It’s not technically a day anyway, so here’s my recommendation, we make it a holiday. We make it a holiday where we have the Las Vegas motto of whatever happens on Leap Year, stays on Leap Year. There’s no record of Leap Year.

ESPN Sportscasters Joe House and Kevin Wildes have the great idea of making this the holiday of all holidays. After all, it only happens every four years. Imagine making it that special day where you throw the big Leap Year party, everything that day is half price, everybody takes the day off. We all celebrate all day and night, and as always, what happens on Leap Year, stays on Leap Year.

We have New Year’s resolutions where we talk about what we want to change or accomplish that year, imagine making a  Leap Year resolution where you go nuts that day. You accomplish some one-day resolution that is completely outside your character. Imagine.

We don’t do nearly enough for Leap Year – Black Friday is the day where we lose our senses, go crazy, strategize, and throw that Wal-Mart laptop from the shelf to the husband, who then throws it to the 10-year-old who then runs up to the register before being tackled by a grandma who is going to do her best to buy that for her grandson.

Leap Year needs to be just as crazy - we need some friendly chaos.

I stress friendly chaos.  After all, it has to be a day we look forward to every four years, not the day we dread because of what happened four years ago.

How is friendly chaos defined? That’s the good thing about this strategy – it’s all up to you. The only common ground is that it’s a holiday, everything is half off, everyone gets the day off, and what happens on Leap Year, stays on Leap Year.

Happy Leap Year Day everybody!

—Thelma Grimes


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