Happy Pi Day! Here’s Some of the Wackiest Celebrations around the World

To infinity, and beyond!

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British writer, essayist and autistic savant Daniel Tammet poses on Mar. 14, 2013, at the Palais de la Decouverte, a science museum in Paris, as part of the first Pi Day in France.

March 14 (3/14) is Pi Day, a celebration of the ratio of a circle’s circumference to its diameter — one of the most beautiful and confounding numbers in mathematics. It’s technically written as 3.14159, or 3.14 for short, but Pi is an “irrational and transcendental number” whose decimals “continue infinitely without repetition or pattern,” according to PiDay.org, the holiday’s official website. But just like the hordes of young people who flocked to get married on 12/12/12, we can’t resist the opportunity to celebrate a fortuitous coincidence on our calendars. Here’s our favorite quirky celebrations for Pi Day 2013.

(MORE: Pi Day By The Numbers)

(MORE: 8 Notable Pi(e)s in History)

  • It’s OK if all of this talk about pi is making you crave pie. Last night, students at Cal Tech hosted a late-night pi-themed pie-eating party. The Pasadena Sun reports: students “dug into 130 pies laid out for them outside student housing. There were 26 each of five different pies. Follow that? So on 3/14 at 1:59 a.m. there were 26 each of five kinds of pie. None is by chance. The first digits of Pi are 3.14159265.”
  • In France, British writer Daniel Tammet has kicked off “France’s first Pi Day celebration” at the Palace of Discovery, Paris’s science museum, CNN reports. In 2004, the then-25-year-old recited “22,514 digits of pi from memory” — breaking the European record.
  • A student and aspiring math teacher at the University of New Mexico honored Pi Day 2010 by solving a Rubik’s Cube while simultaneously reciting the numbers of pi and hula hooping — putting all multi-taskers to shame. Rachel Maddow featured a video clip of the feat on her Mar. 16 show:


Q&A: Author of Joy of Pi