Pi Day is a holiday celebrated on March 14th every year. This day was created to celebrate the mathematical constant π. It falls on 3/14 since three, one, and four are the first three significant digits of π. It is a holiday that has been celebrated on a large scale since 1988 and has been celebrated by millions of math students and teachers since.
History of Pi Day
While Pi Day may have existed in one form or another, the first official large-scale celebration occurred on March 14th, 1988, at the San Francisco Exploratorium. This event was organized by physicist Larry Shaw. The first celebration featured participants marching around a large circle and consuming fruit pies. Over the years, the Pi Day celebrations have become a little more complex and usually involve more activities. This day received some much-needed respect when the U.S. House of Representatives passed HRES 224 on March 12, 2009, recognizing March 14th as Pi Day.
Pi Day Customs & Celebrations
Pi Day celebrations usually center around the dessert pie – not only because π and pie are homophones in English but also because a pie is round and is therefore related to π. Pi Day celebrations can incorporate this element into their parties in several ways. They can not only serve pie but also have pie-eating contests, pie fights, or even pie drops – an activity in which people drop pies from the top of a building to see who gets the biggest splatter. The inclusion of pie at a Pi Day party doesn’t have to mean just sweet dessert pies, however. Some celebrations feature savory pies such as chicken pot pies, shepherd’s pies, or some other form of savory meat pie.
Another fun activity that is done on Pi Day is having people recite π and see who can get the furthest. While this may seem like an easy game at first, it really isn’t once you realize that π has been calculated to over one trillion digits past its decimal point. Other Pi Day activities include wearing π t-shirts, stenciling π (π) on clothing, and hosting Pi Day marathons.