March may not be a big time for holidays unless you like green beer or can still travel for spring break. But nestled in the middle of the month is a special day for the nerdy at heart. While William Shakespeare fans may be thinking along the lines of the Ides of March and Julius Caesar‘s famous death scene, the day we’re talking about is a little less grim. Ok, a lot less grim. Sure, March 14 is Albert Einstein‘s birthday, but it is also so much more. Did we mention it is one big math pun? March 14 is Pi Day!
For those that may not know, Pi is a mathematical constant. It is the ratio of a circle’s circumference and diameter — any circle of any size will have the same result. However, Pi is also infinitely long without any known repeat sequences, making it an irrational number. It is typically abbreviated as 3.14159, or more simply: 3.14.
Since the shortened form of Pi is 3.14, and March 14 is written 3/14, the date to celebrate makes perfect sense. Who says math nerds aren’t fun?
A Pi Day Feast: Pie for Pi
Since Pi Day sounds an awful lot like “Pie” Day, pie is the most logical celebration food. But what is the best way to enjoy pie on Pi Day? Our suggestion is to enjoy pie — every kind you can get your hands on all day long.
Pie for breakfast? Absolutely! The vending machine cherry pie is certainly an acceptable option, but why not have a quiche? It is simply a savory egg pie! This recipe from The Spruce Eats goes a little beyond a basic quiche — it utilizes a hash brown crust and a bacon lattice topping.
For lunch, especially if you are on the go, grab a hand pie. Sure, you could pop a Hot Pocket into the microwave, but why not get a little adventurous? Find a local restaurant or diner that serves samosas or empanadas. Or, if you have the time, make your hand pie the night before. Pair a nice savory pie, like this Mushroom Pie from Two Cups Flour, with a dessert hand pie in the fruit of your choice! And, if you’re wondering, yes, those apple pie pockets from the golden arches count.
Instead of grabbing a pot pie, which is the obvious choice, to cap off the day, whip up a shepherd’s pie! Alton Brown has a delightful recipe. Alright, yes, a pizza pie will also do. There are no rules for Pi Day. Finish out the meal with a slice of the good stuff — whatever pie makes your mouth water.
Crafty Pi Fun
Aside from the food, what else can you do to celebrate Pi Day? Depending on how dedicated you are to Pi, you could spend the day trying to calculate Pi past the current record, which is 62.8 trillion digits. Or you could work on memorizing more numbers than the record holder, which is 67,890. But, a more easy-going celebration is to do a little crafting. The ideas below are meant to give a little fun and help teach the concept of Pi, adapted for all ages.
Make a Paper Pi Pie
Grab a piece of printer paper and print off a Pi symbol. Decorate it like a pie! Give it a crust around the edges, draw or glue on some lattice-work topping, and color the filling with your favorite pie flavor. This craft is great for teaching all ages about Pi.
Explore Pi with String
This craft may need some adult help unless you trust younger crafters with safety scissors. Draw or print out a circle with a line through the middle. Take some string and lay it out around the outer edge of the circle. Cut just enough string to match the circumference. Then, take some string and lay it over the line, creating the circle’s diameter. Cut three (or four) pieces of string at this length.
Once all the string is measured and cut, lay the circumference out and count how many diameter strings are needed to be the same length. This craft is a physical visual into Pi! Try it with different-size circles — the number never changes!
Get Creative with Limitations
Pi may be infinite, as can art. But what can you create with limits based on Pi? There are several ways to explore this concept. For instance, you could try using three shades of one color, one shade of another and four shades of a third color to paint a picture.
Or, use only three colors on one sheet of paper divided into four sections to create a comic sequence. Even further, you could use three pieces of colored construction paper pages, one marker and four stickers to make a collage. Whatever you come up with, keep the limits set to 3-1-4 to represent Pi!
There are certainly more ways to celebrate Pi on March 14. Whether you are doing so with food or crafts, we hope you enjoy the day. If you happen to do the crafts (or make some very pun-filled foods), let us know!