Granted official recognition by Congress as a national holiday in 2009, March 14th celebrates Pi π , a mathematical concept and number that has no known ending. Usually it is rounded off to about 3.14, which explains why March 14th is the day it is celebrated. Interestingly, March 14th is also the birthday of the famous physicist Albert Einstein, so this is truly a fun day to celebrate for math and science lovers! Pi Day is celebrated not only in the USA, but anywhere there are people who appreciate numbers and love a little fun.
If you like parties or have kids, here are some ideas to make the day memorable:
Serve Pi-neapple. Serve drinks with ice cubes shaped like the Pi symbol in pint-sized glasses or mugs. Serve northern pike or pizza-pie. (Deep dish of course!) Serve Pi-fries, which can be made from either homemade or store bought dough. Here is the recipe. Also, be sure you have plenty of Nutella Pie Pops on hand! Serve Pie Shakes! These look fantastic and are sure to please. Here is the recipe.
And of course, eat plenty of pie for dessert!
Festive Mood Pi songs could be played as background music throughout your day or at a party if you are having one. There are many interpretations of this. Here's one. Another song explains a little bit of Pi's history. YouTube offers many more options. Display facts about the life of Albert Einstein and his findings up on the walls of your home for guests or your kids to admire.
Learn to play Pi Ball.
- Take advantage if Pi Day promotional offers! If you live in Chicago, First Slice Pie Café (5357 N Ashland Ave, Chicago, IL) will be giving out free slices of pizza today at 3:14 pm! For those in the Southeast, pizzas cost $3.14 at Your Pie's 16 locations across Georgia, Tennessee and Florida.
- Pi(e) eating contest. You could use real pie, or substitute cupcakes with numbers on them that correspond to Pi's digits. Have participants see how far down the line of cupcakes they can eat before 3 minutes and 14 seconds pass!
-Memorize Pi! There are great apps available for both Apple and Android devices that can help with this.
- Have a Pi recitation contest. The current world record is held by China's Chao Lu, who recited 67,890 digits in 2005. Think you can beat that?
- Read Pi themed books to your kids. For example, Sir Cumference and the Dragon of Pi, by Cindy Neuschwander, is a good one.
- Compose a "piem" in Pilish. This is a form of poetry relying on the digits of Pi to determine the amount of letters allowed in each successive word. For example, the first word should have three letters, the second should have one, the third should have four, and so on. English physicist Sir James Jeans came up with this popular example: "How I need a drink, alcoholic in nature, after the heavy lectures involving quantum mechanics!"
- After the last activity, you may wish to host a Pilish piem recitation open mic night.
- Play a game where participants are given a set amount of time in which to transcribe as many words as they can onto a piece of paper. Have Pi up on the wall for reference. The words must have the same amount of letters as the digits of Pi dictate. Individual words cannot be repeated and one point is given per unique word. Extra points are given for words that have the word "Pi" in them. For example, a list might look like this: Pig, A, Pile, I, Build, etc. This is a bit like writing piems in Pilish, but doesn't have to make grammatical sense.
-Take the Pi Day Challenge! This series of logic-based puzzles is a great mental workout.
- Join other math enthusiasts by exchanging High Pi's instead of high fives, today. This is done by using only three fingers instead if your whole hand. You can greet party guests in this way.
- Learn more about Pi. Here are 28 things you probably didn't know about this number.
- Have a Pi-ku writing contest. Instead if using the usual 5-7-5 format common to Haikus, Pi-ku's use the first three numbers found in Pi, namely 3-1-4.
- Watch out for fragments of Pi on things like road signs and advertisements and keep track of how many you can find in a day. You could even take pictures and string then all together later to form one long string of Pi! You can also play this as a game and call it "I sPi" instead of "I Spy", or it could be turned into a scavenger hunt where you send party guests around in teams to take pictures of numbers in their proper order.
- Search for your birthday in Pi.
- Bake a Pi(e)! If you are competitive, you could even enter your Pi-themed pie into this contest.
If you don't fancy yourself a chef, these pies might be a better fit, requiring only a microwave oven.
- Replace your usual workout routine with the Pilates method. It is good for you in the long run and is a fun way to celebrate the day!
- Participate in the International Pi Day Princeton Video Contest. Here is a link describing the contest and other festivities that go on at Princeton, which is sometimes called the Pi Day capital of the world! The prize is, of course, $314.159.
- Make a dent in your own personal Pile of things to do. Remember that laundry? How clean is that refrigerator?
- Pike out on any plans you may have had for dinner this day and enjoy a Pi-themed meal!
- In the spirit of celebrating all things circular, pay attention to what things in your home may need new batteries and change them. Since today also happens to be National Check Your Batteries Day, you won't be the only one doing this.
- Add a Pi-Day widget to your website or blog. Widgets can be found here.
- Make a personal bucket list detailing where you asPire to be in a year. Review it next March 14 to see how far you have come. If you find you haven't done all you set out to do, don't Pine, simply start afresh for next year!
- Forgive people today. Don't hold on to sPite.
- Watch the award winning movie "Life of Pi", or one of many others featuring the famous number.
- Of course, there are always plenty of Pi Day related things to browse through on Pinterest. Be sure to check out what Leslie Ercole has to show.
- If you do decide to host a party, there are many fun Pi souvenirs you can use as prizes. These earrings are great for girls, while boys would probably enjoy this T-shirt.
A great way to foster an appreciation for math and numbers in children, Pi day is a fun tradition to celebrate with family and friends, or just for your own enjoyment! Being 2014, the entire month of March this year could really be called Pi-month, as it would be written as 3/14. Don't miss this opportunity!