Pi Day: the forgotten holiday


Lorenzo G

1,000,000 digits of Pi website

Every year since 1988, Pi Day has been a national holiday celebrated on March 14. Pi is the number where, if you multiply it by a circle’s diameter, you get the circumference. It doesn’t seem so special, but the thing about Pi, is that it is infinite, which means that it never ends or repeats. Pi is commonly used just as 3.14, but a lot of people also use it as 3.1 or 3.14159. Pi Day is on March 14 because on the MM/DD calendar, Pi Day falls on 3/14. 

The thing is most people simply forget about Pi Day, even though some mathematicians spend their entire life trying to figure out more digits of Pi. Some teachers (mostly just math teachers) celebrate Pi Day with pie and drinks, and if students are lucky maybe they’ll get a party. 

The holiday was originally formed by Larry Shaw on March 14, which also just so happens to be Albert Einstein’s birthday.  Yes, that’s right, Albert Einstein was born on Pi Day. But the holiday wasn’t a thing yet so it didn’t matter until 1988, when the holiday was formed. 

Although the holiday wasn’t, pi has been around since ancient times during the building of the pyramids of Egypt. It was a lot simpler then, just 3.14, but now we have discovered over 22 trillion digits of pi. That number is insane. To put that in perspective, 22 trillion seconds is 697,136 years long. And to go even deeper, the first humans roamed the Earth 300,000 years ago. So that means 22 trillion seconds ago, humans didn’t even exist.

In other words Pi Day is an important holiday to celebrate the scientists who spent their lives trying to figure out Pi.