June 17th

World Tessellation Day -

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Observed annually on the 17th of June, World Tessellation Day celebrates the captivating symmetry of tessellations - patterns formed by the repetition of geometric shapes without any spaces or overlaps. M.C. Escher, a prominent Dutch graphic artist renowned for his detailed interpretations of tessellated artwork, is also commemorated on this day, which coincides with his birthday.

This day cultivates a sense of admiration and curiosity for tessellations among aficionados, students, artists, and mathematicians, encouraging exploration and understanding of this art form found in nature, art, architecture, and even technology.

History of World Tessellation Day

Celebrated every year on June 17th, World Tessellation Day is a day to admire the aesthetic appeal of mathematical designs known as tessellations. A tessellation is a geometric pattern that perfectly fills a flat surface, leaving no gaps or overlaps. This concept has broad applications, from art and mathematics to nature.

World Tessellation Day was initiated in 2016 by Emily Grosvenor, a children’s book author from Oregon who is best known for her work “Tessalation!” The inaugural celebration was on June 17, 2016. The selected date also honors the birthday of M. C. Escher, a renowned Dutch artist who significantly popularized tessellations through his complex and creative illustrations. His art made extensive use of geometric shapes to create patterns that manipulate perspective and challenge perception.

However, the day’s purpose extends beyond simply acknowledging Escher’s artistic legacy. It’s also a day dedicated to engaging both children and adults in exploring the captivating world of tessellations in math and in our natural surroundings. World Tessellation Day invites participation from mathematicians, educators, artists, and those who have a general interest in patterns and symmetry. It ultimately serves to promote admiration for the intricate and patterned nature of the universe in which we live.

World Tessellation Day Timeline

Early Tessellations

Early examples of tessellations were found in Sumerian civilization, using tiles to create geometric patterns on walls and floors.

Roman Tessellations

Tessellations were widely used in Roman architecture and can be seen on the floors of Roman buildings.

Islamic Tessellations

Islamic art made extensive use of tessellations in architecture and design, avoiding human or animal images.

Johannes Kepler

Johannes Kepler's publication of 'Harmonices Mundi' includes the first mathematical discussion of regular and semi-regular tessellations.

Birth of M.C. Escher

The graphic artist who made tessellations famous worldwide was born in Leeuwarden, Netherlands.

11th Convex Uniform Tiling

The discovery of the 11th convex uniform tiling marks a significant development in the field of geometric tessellations.

Gravitational Wave Detection

The LIGO team confirmed the existence of Gravitational Waves, giving a physical proof of space-time tessellation.

Inception of World Tessellation Day

June 17th was chosen as World Tessellation Day, in memory of M.C. Escher who passed away on this day in 1972.

Ideas to Celebrate World Tessellation Day

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Tessellation Art Contest

Organize an art contest where participants can express their creativity through tessellation art. Encourage them to use different materials and colors.

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Tessellation Math Workshop

Arrange a workshop to teach about the mathematical background and significance of tessellation patterns and its applications in various fields.

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Tessellation Exhibition

Hold an exhibition featuring tessellated works from local artists or students, showcasing various techniques and styles.

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Tessellation Mural Creating

Create a community mural project employing tessellation patterns to foster unity and creativity within the community. The completed mural can be a long term reminder of World Tessellation Day.

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Tessellation Documentary Screening

Arrange a screening of a documentary that delves into the history and applications of tessellation in arts and mathematics. This could be followed by a discussion.

8 Interesting Facts About Tessellations


Tessellations in Nature

Tessellations are prevalent in nature. The hexagonal cells in a honeycomb, the scales on a fish, the pattern on a pineapple or the arrangement of sunflower seeds are all examples of natural tessellations.


Ancient Tessellations

Tessellations have been found in ancient art and architecture across a range of cultures, including Roman and Islamic designs. The Alhambra palace in Spain is world-renowned for its intricate tessellated patterns.


Tessellations in Mathematics

In the world of mathematics, tessellations are used to explore geometry and spatial reasoning. A tessellation proves that the plane can be filled with copies of the same shape, without overlaps or gaps.


Escher and Tessellations

Dutch graphic artist M.C. Escher is famous for his use of tessellations in his artwork. He explored the concept of infinity and created mind-boggling tessellations that often incorporated living creatures.


Tessellations in Video Games

The rendering of virtual environments in video games often uses tessellation to increase detail and visual interest in a scene. It's a technique that enhances the level of detail of a 3D object.


The Three Regular Tessellations

There are only three shapes that can form a regular tessellation on their own - the square, the equilateral triangle, and the regular hexagon. This is because their interior angles are divisors of 360.


Tessellations in Quilting

Tessellations are also popular in quilting. Quilters create repeating patterns with fabric pieces to create visually compelling designs, many of which are tessellations.


Spherical Tessellations

Not all tessellations are on a flat surface. Sphere or spherical tessellations, such as those on a soccer ball or golf ball, cover a curved surface with repeating patterns.

World Tessellation Day FAQs

Next World Tessellation Day Dates

Year Date Day
2023 June 17th Saturday
2024 June 17th Monday
2025 June 17th Tuesday
2026 June 17th Wednesday
2027 June 17th Thursday
What is the pattern? Every June 17th

World Tessellation Day Word Search

  • Tessellation
  • Mosaic
  • Geometry
  • Pattern
  • Polygon
  • Symmetry