Pi Day is a great excuse to eat pies. Officially known as National Pi Day, what is it exactly? Who created it and what are we supposed to do? Read on to learn more and find local bakeries making the best pie desserts for you!
National Pi Day was the brainchild of American physicist, curator, and artist, Larry Shaw (video). It began in San Francisco when Shaw was working at the Exploratorium. In 1988, he realised the link between the date March 14 (3.14) and the first digits of pi (3.14159…) and decided it would be a wonderful way to bring his colleagues together. With the help of his wife, Catherine, the holiday experiment worked and the museum tradition stuck.
By 2009, the US House of Reps made Pi Day an official holiday. A perfect day for discussions about pi and of course, a great excuse to eat pies! It’s now an international celebration with the main ideas to make math more accessible and bring people together. For those that are still asking, what is it and why celebrate it? Pi is quite important. It occurs in many areas in mathematics. It’s used in calculations to represent a constant by the Greek letter “π”. The definition of pi gives us a way to calculate values for circumference, area, and surface area. Even arcs, sectors, and volumes of solids.
Pi has interested people around the world for more than 4,000 years. It’s surprising to think we had to wait until 1988 to get the ball rolling on a holiday perfect for pie consumption! When asked whether he was proud of the events held around the world each March 14th, Shaw replied, “Yes and no. It’s not mine; it’s everybody’s. I’m just the guy holding the pole.” This refers to the Exploratorium’s annual march around the campus, when he would lead the parade with a red cap and the first pi sign… Before cutting into the fruit pies within their pi shrine.
A pi shrine sounds pretty good to us. We’re thinking apple pies, blueberry pies, and cherry pies. Don’t forget lemon meringue, key lime, and custard-filled pies. There’s also pecan pie, rhubarb pies, and Saskatoon berry pies! Have a look to see locally made pies that are fresh near you. More refined over time with subsequent waves of immigrants, it’s worth a quick click to see what traditional and innovative pies are available.
National Pi Day is a holiday we can certainly get behind and support. While you might not spend a lot of time on math discussions, your Pi Day should be full of delicious pies. No more questions on what it is!