November’s about to become more vibrant and colourful! As we get ready for one of Singapore’s biggest cultural festivals, we have to check out some of the ways math has helped make some of the biggest holidays and events in the month of November. Spark Math by Spark Education continues our series, “This Month in Math History November”. From Deepavali math facts to share with friends to the birth of someone who created one of our favourite foods, this is the history of math for November!
Be illuminated by the light of Deepavali!
One of Singapore’s important cultural festivals, Deepavali takes place on 12 November this year. Also known as Diwali or the Festival of Lights, the festival is celebrated by Hindus annually to mark the victory of light over darkness, good over evil and knowledge over ignorance. Over a billion people all over the world celebrate Deepavali!
During this time, Little India is illuminated by a series of light-up and decorations, a tradition that has taken place for the past 35 years. You may also spot many colourful and mesmerising patterns on the floor or at the entrances of homes. This is rangoli, a traditional art form that uses materials like rice flour, coloured sand and flower petals. Did you know that the world’s largest rangoli was made in Singapore? Rangoli artist Vijayalakshmi Mohan broke the Guinness record by creating a rangoli of 15.8 metres by 16.1 metres at Whampoa Community Club. She completed this feat by herself in 7 hours without stopping!
Thanksgiving Math Facts to Gobble Gobble up!
Thanksgiving is a holiday celebrated in the United States. Have you wondered how the holiday came about? In November 1920, 102 pilgrims from England landed in the New World on their ship called the Mayflower. It was a tough start for the settlers. Thanks to the Native American tribes in the area, the settlers were able to start farming and build a community. A year later, the first Thanksgiving dinner happened in Plymouth, Massachusetts in 1621. The pilgrims were said to invite Native Americans to eat together to celebrate a successful harvest and their first year in what would become the United States.
This story of the 1621 Thanksgiving feast marks the very first American holiday! President George Washington proclaimed the day to be Thanksgiving Day, a day of prayer and public thanksgiving for the successful establishment of the United States in 1789. It’s become a tradition filled with parades, football games, and of course, the food!
Sandwiches fun facts!
3 November is National Sandwich Day and the birthday of John Montague, the Fourth Earl of Sandwich. While being an Earl was an honour in England, he would forever be known as the inventor of one of the most popular foods in the world, the sandwich! Check out these facts about sandwiches to share next time you’re having lunch with friends.
- The record for the most number of people eating sandwiches together in Singapore was 420, held on 14 June 2014 in the Marina Bay area.
- Did you know how Singapore’s favourite ice cream sandwich came about? In the 1960s, sellers decided to put ice cream in between two round biscuits to make eating the dessert more convenient, and also removing the need to find a bin at the end. It evolved to become the ice cream sandwich we all love and eat today!
- Grilled cheese is the most popular sandwich in the world, with “Tortas” from Mexico and “Bacon Lettuce and Tomato Sandwiches” coming in third!
- Some areas in the U.S. are known for serving unique sandwiches, like the Bacon Egg & Cheese in New York, the Philadelphia Cheesesteak in Philadelphia, and the Fried Peanut Butter & Banana Sandwich in Memphis, Tennessee.
- In a recent survey, 56.8 percent of people believe a hotdog is a sandwich.
A Famous November Math Birthday for a man who changes geometry!
August Möbius was born on 17 Nov 1790. This German mathematician is known for the discovery of the Möbius Strip. A Möbius Strip is a single-side object that doesn’t have any boundaries. This means even though it has 2 sides you can start drawing a line on one point, cover the entire object, and then meet at the same point you started. It’s a simple way to show how geometry can do wonderful things. Try it out for yourself with this fun activity for making a Möbius Strip at home!
Feed your mind with more great math activities from Spark Education!
In November, there are tons of ways to see how math can make life taste so good! If you’re looking for more fun and exciting math facts, check out “This Month in Math” for October and find out more math activities and resources at our Spark Blog.
Looking to check out Spark Education for yourself? Spark Math Classes are currently available. Spark Math is an education programme perfect for helping children use the skills they learnt all year in fun and engaging ways. Available for students from K2 to P5, Spark Math’s online programme features online classes, gamified lessons, and a real experienced teacher. Try it for yourself by signing up to try a free demo class today!