Pie for Pi Day - Detail - © News 10 WILX

Simple Simon To The Pieman: “What’s The Real Pie Day?”

I am compelled to post today on a conundrum that’s raised it’s hoary head to grin mischievously at me. I’ve always believed Pie Day was in the spring. But a new Pie Day has apparently been proclaimed as official – at least in the US…

Papa Johns New York Pie - © 2021 Papa JohnsLest we forget: Pizzas are pies, too!

Half baked or legit?

I have to admit that I’ve been a fan of Pi Day since I first learned of it, years ago. But I’ve always held that its celebrated on March 14. That’s kind of an interpolation of 3.14 – the value of the mathematical constant Pi. It was founded in 1988 by Larry Shaw, an employee of the San Francisco science museum, the Exploratorium.

Pi is a kind of magical number, which we use in algebraic formuli to calculate the circumference and area of a circle. Engineers and couldn’t engineer without it. And it’s magical because you can try to calculate it’s exact value and never succeed. The string of digits after the decimal point never repeats itself!

Anyway… Millions of math and pastry fans around the world have been celebrating ‘Pie Day’ on Pi Day – March 14, or ‘3/14’. Pie-making and pie-eating contests abound. The Ivory Tower crowd just generally lets it hair down for a few hours.

Or, you can fête Papapzian

According to a January 27, 2024, Canadian Press story: “National Pie Day owes its origins to Charlie Papazian, a Colorado nuclear engineer, brewer, teacher, and avid pie lover. Papazian declared his birthday to be National Pie Day in the mid-1970s.”

That’s today; January 23. And he apparently has a strong claim, at least in the US.

“Roughly a decade later, the American Pie Council (an organization devoted to the growth and improvement of the pie industry) sponsored this event in 1986, bringing it to national attention. January 23 has since become a yearly celebration of this timeless culinary delight, transcending geographical boundaries and bringing people together over a shared love for pie.”

That sentiment is hard to decry.

Other ‘Pie’ days abound

Just to further muddy the waters… Many other national commemorative days have been established for various specific types of pie…

  • February is Great American Pies Month
  • February 9 is National Pizza Day
  • April 5 is National Deep Dish Pizza Day
  • April 23 is National Blueberry Pie Day
  • May 8 is National Coconut Cream Pie Day
  • May 13 is National Apple Pie Day
  • May 20 is National Quiche Lorraine Day
  • June 9 is National Strawberry Rhubarb Pie Day
  • June 17 is National Cherry Tart Day
  • June 23 is National Detroit Style Pizza Day
  • July 12 is National Pecan Pie Day
  • August 1 is National Raspberry Cream Pie Day
  • August 15 is National Lemon Meringue Pie Day
  • August 18 is National Ice Cream Pie Day
  • August 20 is National Chocolate Pecan Pie Day
  • August 24 is National Peach Pie Day
  • September 5 is National Cheese Pizza Day
  • September 20 is National Pepperoni Pizza Day
  • September 23 is National Great American Pot Pie Day
  • September 28 is National Strawberry Cream Pie Day
  • October is National Pizza Month
  • October 11 is National Sausage Pizza Day
  • October 23 is National Boston Cream Pie Day
  • December 1 is (also) National Pie Day
  • December 23 is National Pumpkin Pie Day

Wait a minute…

Is National Pie Day in January of December? The origins of December Pie Day remains shrouded in history. Even the authoritative National Day Calendar is still searching for its roots. But it is held to be a legitimate, popular Pie Day, located, “smack dab in the middle of a major pie-making season.”

My take

If I had my way, every day would be Pie Day. And I’d weight about 300 lb. / 140 kg!

Seriously… Let’s all feel free to celebrate the ancient and venerable concept we call ‘pie’, wherever, whenever and as often as we want to!

~ Maggie J.