Br(u)no: What Should We Do to Make Today Special?

Photo: Brno Daily

Today is Feb. 29. It is a bonus day that we get every four years because the earth completes its solar orbit every 365¼ days. In order to synchronize the calendar year with the solar year, we get an extra day to do . . . something great!

What will you do with this extra day? What do you do with any day that you want to make special?

An epic meal? A spontaneous trip to somewhere you’ve never been? A lazy day in a spa? A massage? Two hours away from the kids to simply read a book?

I hope to make this Leap Day memorable. I’m not yet sure how. Maybe a big breakfast and, later, a huge bowl of buttered popcorn. Maybe finally watch a couple of movies. At the very least, I’m purchasing a subscription to the Washington Post because they have a special deal: a one-year subscription for $29.

I, for one, wish that I had been born on Feb. 29. Every baby born today will have an interesting biographical quirk because their actual birthdate will be in the calendar only every fourth year. What a great highlight for introductions!

Lokomotiva Brno H.H. (women’s football), KP Brno and Žabiny Brno (women’s basketball) and mmcité1 Basket Brno (men’s basketball) all will have games and statistics on this strange date. There is also a women’s volleyball derby: Královo Pole will host VK Brno at 6:30 p.m.

Or, if you want try something completely different, “Papageno Plays the Magic Flute”, a variation of the famous Mozart production, will be performed today in Janáček Theatre at 3 p.m.

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I find dates to be interesting. Feb. 29 is cool because it comes every four years. But there are other date patterns that stand out. Here are some of my favorites:

11/11. Nov. 11 is Armistice Day because World War I ended at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month in 1918. It is also the day of the Christian celebration of Saint Martin of Tours, who, supposedly, brings the first snow fall of the year. St. Martin’s Day is celebrated locally with Svatomartinské víno and roasted goose. And, in China, it is Singles’ Day, which is a mix between Valentine’s Day and Black Friday because of the many billions of dollars that are spent online.

Pi Day. March 14 — 03.14 — is so important for mathematics nerds that the Massachusetts Institute of Technology sends out their acceptance letters on this day. (Good luck, Adam!) This works in the American style of writing dates; unfortunately, there isn’t a fourteenth month for it to work in the local style. Pi day was especially cool five years ago because it went four positions deep: 03.14.15.

7/7. This is the date of my wedding in St. Petr and Paul Cathedral here in Brno. It is easy to remember, although I never recall the year. (All of the fantastic years blend together, honey!) To be honest, even the easy-to-remember combination doesn’t mean much: a few years after our wedding, both my wife and I forgot our anniversary when we were in the middle of a weeklong vacation in Greece.

Friday the 13th. I know of a local guy who, at the beginning of every year, finds all of the Friday the 13ths and takes them as days off. I’m not sure why he does it. It could be superstition. But it could also be that he just wants to build random long weekends into his year. Maybe it is both.

And, of course, there are always interesting patterns that are even more rare than today’s once-every-four-year date. Earlier this month we had a powerful poker hand: 02/20/2020 (from the American point of view) and 20/02/2020 (from the Czech point of view), not to mention 02/02/2020 (from both points of view).

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In any case, today is Feb. 29 and a good excuse to do something special. What do you suggest? Please add it in the comments.

I hope that this column will provide thought-provoking observations of local life that will be interesting for a Saturday-morning read. If you have any suggestions or comments, please pass them along to

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