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A Leap Day tradition with a dark side

A Leap Day tradition with a dark side

The calendar blip has led to some unusual rituals in past decades. Bernd Weibrod / picture alliance / Getty February 29, 2024, 6:30 PM ET This is an edition of The Atlantic Daily, a newsletter that guides you through the biggest stories of the day, helps you discover new ideas, and recommends the best in culture. Sign up for it here. A calendar is a site of order. What happens when that order gets disrupted? First, here are three new stories from The Atlantic: A Quadrennial Blip February 29 is a blip in the normal flow of time. The date may not appear on dropdown menus or at the DMV; it may scramble pay stubs or confound bartenders checking IDs. It has, over the years, inspired creativity and transgression. And folklore has it that the leap year—and particularly Leap Day—was once the only time when women had social permission to propose marriage to men. The tradition, which some contend has roots in fifth-century Ireland, enabled women (and men) to “try on this other gender, with …