Happy Girl’s Square Root Day!

March 3, 2009

Today is Girl’s Day, a venerable Japanese celebration that I learned about from Maki’s Just Hungry website.  Maki reposted a lovely piece about Girl’s Day, and about two kinds of sushi that are typically eaten to celebrate, and which fit nicely into bento boxes.  I am pleased with any opportunity to make special feast food, and I like girls!  I like a whole lot of girls, in fact.   It’s also Square Root Day today, and I think it’s just perfect to celebrate the two in tandem –geeky girl day!  Here’s the lunch I made:

Four hamaguri-zushi, two temari zushi (under the star-fruit strawberries), cucumber sticks clasping an umeboshi, a passionfruit bowl filled with passionfruit, steamed asparagus, and a little stack of star-fruit with a radish (root) cut as square as I could manage.

Four hamaguri-zushi, two temari zushi (under the star-fruit strawberries), cucumber sticks clasping an umeboshi, a passionfruit bowl filled with passionfruit, steamed asparagus, and a little stack of star-fruit with a radish (root) cut as perfectly square as I could possibly manage.

Square Root Day is a much more contemporary holiday which celebrates any day when both the day of the month and the month are the square root of the last two digits of the year.  Though I’m not a skilled practitioner of mathematics, I do appreciate and admire mathematics and mathematicians.  I carved a radish, which is a root vegetable, into as perfect a square as I could, and then I ate the square root, and as I did so, I imagined an afterlife in which Hypatia of Alexandria, Ada Lovelace, Maria Gaetana Agnesi, Emmy Noether, Sophie Germain, Sofia Kovalevskaya, Rózsa Péter, Julia Robinson, Olga Taussky-Todd, Émilie du ChâteletMary Cartwright,and Meg Murry sit around a table –chatting, laughing, arguing, gossiping, playing San Juan and drinking lemonade, beer, and Laphroaig.  Yep.

So, back to Girl’s Day.  The history of the Japanese celebration is tied up in social and cultural expectations and hopes that parents had for their daughters.  I expect that in the past many parents hoped that their daughter would make a happy and successful marriage, and undoubtedly some parents wish the same today.  But I can’t help but think that parents throughout history, and certainly today, have a broader range of hope for what their daughters might achieve.  Here’s hoping that parents around the globe are dreaming of their daughters becoming authors and astronauts and organic pig farmers and professors and painters, that these parents are hoping that they are raising loving girls and women, fiesty free-spirited saucy daughters, revolutionary and bold daughters!

Here are some of my favorite girls, in no particular order: Birthe, Karen, Min, Karrie, Giselle, Kate, Jane, Tara and her evil twin Dawn, Mesa, Carolyn, Anaan, Eclipse, Marzia, Julie, Rosie, Sylvia, Meg Murry, Maki, Lucy, Lyra, Mia, Elizabeth, Shannon, Becky, kt, Nora, Mush, Nora, Roanne, Amy, Octavia, Madeleine, Deb, Angelina, Zoe, Céline, Rebecca, Diane, Cici, Rachel, Anne, Nina, Pim, Lee-Ellen, Kerrie, Kerry, Sarah, Marcie, Francesca, Vibeke, Elise, Molly, Melinda, Theresa, Shae, Ellen, Kendra, Priscilla, Miss Darling, Emma, Gwen, Tonya, Jackie, Gerry, Maxime, and that nice lady at the Mobil station.

Enjoy your girls!


12 Responses to “Happy Girl’s Square Root Day!”

  1. I wish i was as crafty as you in the kitchen 🙂 thank you for pointing out BOTH these new to me holidays….I tweeted about them. Follow me @tresha. Thanks again. Luckily we can celebrate girls and women every day 🙂 and 3/24 is Ada Lovelace day….see http://findingada.com. You can easily repost this! 🙂 Glad to know you via bloggin….Here’s to all of us bein’ big sisters for girls. Thanks much.

  2. mosaica Says:

    Thank you Tresha! I enjoyed reading about your facebook thoughts, and those links were great and very thought-provoking ..


  3. Zoé Says:

    Really nice bento! You are really creative lately!
    I like your root day! What a good excuse to have a pretty bento for lunch! It seems that you’re a wise greedy girl…
    Happy girl day!

  4. Blorgie Says:

    The greens, yellows and pinks in this bento made me happy today. I like the idea of celebrating girls and mathematical anomalies. Can we celebrate pi day and towel day too? That would fun. (+;

  5. min Says:

    check and recheck…why am I not on the list? 😛

  6. mosaica Says:

    Eeep! I was afraid my sieve-like memory would fail me! But wait.. no, there you are, right between Karen & Karrie..


    I miss you!

  7. min Says:

    totally satisfied now. 🙂

  8. Aunt Roof Says:

    These look way TOO good to eat! You are quite the artist, but then again, I knew that! Coming to knitting on Tuesday?

  9. Eclipse Says:

    Aw, thanks! You’re one of my favorites, too!

  10. marzia Says:

    awesome!!!! happy Hinamatsuri (I know I’m veery late :-)) but I stayed home with fever for two weeks, only clear soups and orange juice, how boring!! I’m back!

  11. goblinbox Says:

    You said Laphroaig and now I love you.

  12. mosaica Says:

    *beam* Hey, you’re on the list Miss Mush ..

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