Have you heard about the Yellow Pig before? Don’t worry; you’re not alone if you haven’t! This is something that began when two math students were analyzing the number 17, and they seemed to go a little bit crazy by the end of it, coming up with the Yellow Pig. Now, we even have a day to celebrate it! Read on to discover everything you need to know, including different ways that you can celebrate this date yourself. 

Learn about Yellow Pig Day

You may think that Yellow Pig Day is something to do with those porcelain piggy banks! However, this could not be further from the case. The date was created when two students were working on the special properties of the number 17. In the end, they created the yellow pig. Why a yellow pig? Well, it could simply be random or it could be to do with a collection of yellow pigs that one of the students had. 

One thing that is easier to explain, though, is why the two students – Michael Spivak and David Kelly – were obsessing over the number 17. This is because the number 17 is a prime number and it is significant in the world of math. This is because it is the sum of the first four prime numbers. If you add 2, 3, 5 and 7, you’re going to get 17.

For those who are unaware, a prime number is one that can only be divided by itself and the number 1. It cannot be divided by any other number. There are a number of different studies that have shown that most people choose the number 17 when they are asked to choose between the number 1 and 20. Therefore, this is why the two students were delving into the number 17 and doing their research on it, and this is also how Yellow Pig Day was created. 

There are some other properties of 17 that make it worthy of being a mathematical holiday. This includes the fact that 17 is the minimum number of givens in a Sudoku puzzle in order for it to have a solution that is unique. With that said, why not celebrate the day by challenging yourself to a Sudoku puzzle? Did you know that 17 is also the smallest number that is the sum of two powers of four, i.e. 16 and 1? 

It is worth pointing out that not everyone is a fan of the number 17, though! In fact, some people are scared of it, and this fear is known as heptadecaphobia. Moreover, in Italy, 17 is actually considered an unlucky number. You may be wondering why the Italians are hating on the number 17 so much! Well, 17 is written as XVII in Roman numerals.this is an anagram for VIXI. VIXI, in Italian, means ‘my life is over’ and so it is not difficult to see why the Italians aren’t a big fan of the number 17! 

History of Yellow Pig Day

Yellow Pig Day originated in the 1960s when two math students from Princeton spent a long time obsessively analyzing the number 17. It seems that they went a little mad eventually, and decided to invent the concept of a yellow pig with 17 toes, 17 teeth, and so forth… Now Yellow Pig Day is an important part of the academic calendar, and is celebrated with cake, carols, parades and general revelry.

After Michael Spivak and David Kelly created the Yellow Pig Day, it became a great math day or celebration for students all over the world. We’re not kidding when we say that this is a date that has really taken off. In fact, you can find origami yellow pigs and math-themed shirts with yellow pigs on them that have been created just for the day. Did you know that there have even been Yellow Pig Day carols that have been made for people to sing on the day?

Here is an example…

The March of the Yellow Pig (1977)

(to the tune of The Battle Hymn of the Republic)

Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the pig
She is trampling on the series where the terms have grown too big
She’s unleashed the boring lectures of geometry and trig
Her proofs go marching on!

Chorus:
Kelly, Kelly, how she’s fooled you;
Kelly, Kelly, how she’s fooled you;
Kelly, Kelly, how she’s fooled you;
Her proofs go marching on!

She was fathered by Mike Spivak in a bar across the street
With beauty in her bosom but with only sixteen feet
Because she was consistent she could hardly be complete
Her proofs go marching on!

How to Celebrate Yellow Pig Day

There are a number of different ways that you can celebrate Yellow Pig Day. Why not try creating your very own yellow pig? There are a number of different materials you can use to create this. You could create an edible yellow pig, for example, using marzipan. You may decide to create your own plush toy or your own pig sculpture. It all depends on you and how creative you are feeling. 

You can also celebrate Yellow Pig Day by focusing more on the number 17. Why not do your own research about the number and see what you come up with? You never know; you may find that you begin to think about yellow pigs with 17 teeth and toes after a while. Or, perhaps you make up your own mythical creature?

You can also use Yellow Pig Day to do nice things for others. For example, you could try to do 17 kind acts throughout the day? This does not have to be any grand gestures. Simply do nice things for other people or pay them a compliment. You will be surprised by just how good this can make you feel by the end of it as well. 

You can also spend your day looking up some interesting facts on the number 17. Of course, you have the fact that we gave you earlier about 17 being the premium prime number. However, there are a lot of other facts about the number 17. For example, did you know that it was the 17th Amendment of the United States Constitution that granted citizens the ability to choose their senators by carrying out popular vote? It is certainly interesting to do a bit of exploration and to learn more about the different ways that 17 is significant to different people. 

Or, why not simply spend the day by listening to a bit of ABBA? After all, as all fans of the band know, 17 is the age of all young and sweet Dancing Queens! 

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