English Chinese Spanish Japanese Korean Turkish

News and Announcements

Happy Thanksgiving! --Office Closed21-Nov-2018

Happy Thanksgiving from the team at Global Immersions Homestay! We hope you enjoy the day with y..

Welcome to Boston Homestay - Danish Ringkjobing Group!13-Oct-2018

Global Immersions Homestay welcomed a large group of visitors from Ringkjøbing in Denmark. T..


Best in Hospitality

Spend Thanksgiving in Plymouth

Global Immersions Recruiting - Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Plymouth, Massachusetts, a coastal town south of Boston, is an ideal location for a festive Thanksgiving outing. If you’re familiar with the early history of America you may know that Plymouth, MA was the location of Plimoth Colony, the site of the first Thanksgiving between Pilgrims and the Native Americans that inhabited the land. Plymouth is an exciting location to learn about the history of Thanksgiving, listen to stories about life in Plimoth Colony, and experience the culture and traditions of the Wampanoag tribe. Here are some can’t miss attractions for your trip to Plymouth this Thanksgiving break:


Plymouth Plantation

Immerse yourself in 1620s Massachusetts, at a site strategically chosen and developed to mirror the Pilgrims original settlement. At Plimoth Plantation you’ll experience what life was like for the Pilgrims during their first years in Plimoth Colony. The Plantation is an authentic re-creation of the Pilgrims’ homes, including those of well-known colony leaders such as the Reverend Brewster, Miles Standish, and Governor Bradford. Costumed historians portray actual members of Plimoth Colony and share their stories with guests. Visitors can also make their way to the Wampanoag settlement, for a more holistic picture of Massachusetts’s famous history. Here, Native American interpreters teach guests about their ancestor’s traditions and culture. This area contains the region’s only three-fire wetu, a family house often referred to as a wigwam. Plimoth Plantation is open daily 9:00 am - 5:00 pm. 

 

Plymouth Rock

Plymouth Rock is another historical artifact on display in Plymouth. The rock sits close by to a full-scale replica of the Mayflower, which is typically parked on Plymouth’s waterfront but has currently been moved to get repairs done. Plymouth Rock is the site where the Pilgrims disembarked from the Mayflower and first stepped onto land in Plymouth. Some stories say that each Pilgrim stepped on Plymouth Rock as they left the Mayflower. Today, visitors to Pilgrim Memorial State Park can view Plymouth rock where interpreters teach its history from May until Thanksgiving.

Pilgrim Hall Museum

Pilgrim Hall Museum is the oldest continuously operating museum in the United States. At Pilgrim Hall museum visitors get a detailed look at the history of the Pilgrims and their settlement. The museum has artifacts gathered from Plimoth Colony, such as furniture, crafts, art, and other possessions. Like Plymouth Plantation, Plymouth Hall Museum also shows the history of the Wampanoag people, who lived in the area of Plimoth colony well before the Pilgrims arrived. Pilgrim Hall Museum is open daily from 9:30 am - 4:30 pm. 


Jabez Howland House & Sparrow House

The Jabez Howland and Sparrow houses are two homes dating back to the time of the Pilgrims settlement. The Jabez Howland is the only existing house in Plymouth actually inhabited by Pilgrims. Jabez Howland and his family were Pilgrims that lived in the home until they sold the home in 1680. The home was then a private residence until 1912 when it was converted into a museum. The Richard Sparrow House was built by its namesake, Richard Sparrow, in 1640. Sparrow was an English surveyor that came to Plymouth in 1636, more than a decade after the Pilgrims arrived on the Mayflower. The home is the oldest surviving house in Plymouth. Visitors can tour the home daily between 10:00 am and 5:00 pm.


Explore Downtown

Once you’ve had your fill of history and museum tours, exploring downtown Plymouth is always a fun activity. Plymouth’s quaint waterfront streets are lined with restaurants, candy stores, and souvenir shops. Try some classic New England fudge at Plimoth Candy Company or find a present to bring home at one of the many boutiques. 

Global Immersions wishes all of our hosts and visitors a happy Thanksgiving! Whether this is your first, second, or third Thanksgiving in Boston, be sure to share all your holiday celebrations with us by using #HomestayBoston or tagging @globalimmersions!

Source: Planetware.com 

2018 World Series: Fun Facts

Global Immersions Recruiting - Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Sunday night, the Boston Red Sox defeated the Los Angeles Dodgers to become the 2018 World Series Champions! The two teams played an exciting 5 -games series, ending in a Red Sox victory. Did you watch the game with your host family? If so, did you know that you were one of the 30 million people that tuned in to see the Red Sox make history? Did you also know that before 2018, it had been 30 years since the LA Dodgers played in the World Series? or that a team hasn't won 108 games (like the Red Sox did this season) since 1986? WalletBase.com did some research and created this infographic to show these statistics and other facts about the World Series. If you're interested in learning some lesser-known info about Major League Baseball's annual championship, we put together some of the best fun facts:

The Players (and their salaries):

It’s no surprise that a career as  Major League Baseball player is a very lucrative profession. The highest paid player on the LA Dodgers, Klayton Kershaw makes $35.57 million a year and earns about $220,800 every inning he pitches. The highest paid player on the Red Sox, David Price, earns $30 million a year and about $170,500 every inning he pitches. The LA Dodgers team salary is $196.6 million, and the Red Sox team salary is $224.8 million. That’s a lot of $$$$! 

Viewership

Whether you’re a baseball fan or not, if you’re in Boston you probably watched at least one game of the World Series. Typically the last game of the World Series draws close to 30 million viewers (approximately 29.3 million for game 7 last year). The World Series as a whole was seen by 18.9 million people in 2017 and 13.7 million people this year. 


Ticket Sales

As you might have guessed, tickets to the World Series don’t come cheap. Any baseball super fan at Dodgers Stadium or Fenway Park during Game 1 of the World Series paid at least $321 for their seat according to WalletHub.  That number is cheap in comparison to last year ’s game 5, where $828 was the cheapest ticket price. It is estimated that the average ticket prices for the 2018 World Series games in Boston and Los Angeles were $1,290 and $1,965 respectively. This is similar to last year’s stats, where the average price of a ticket to the 2017 World Series was over $1,000. 

Ad Revenue

Tickets might be expensive, but the real money is in TV ad revenue. Corporations spend an average of $6355,000 for a 30-second commercial during the World Series (not bad compared to the 5 million+ dollars spent on a 30 second SuperBowl Ad). It is projected that ad revenue totals $58.1 million for each game beyond the minimum of four. Fox, TBS, and ESPN will have paid a total of $12.4 billion for the broadcast rights to the World Series from 2014 to 2021. In 2017 the total ad revenue generated by the World Series was $414 million, this year’s World Series most likely generated less, having only 5 games instead of 7. 


If you want to cheer on Boston's favorite sports team as they celebrate their World Series win, check out the Boston Red Sox Parade this Wednesday, October 31st! 

Red Sox World Series Victory Parade 

Date: October 31st 

Time: 11:00 am 

Place: Landsdown Street 

We want to see you in your Boston Red Sox gear! Share your World Series celebrations with us by using #HomestayBoston or tagging @globalimmersions!

Halloween Fun in Boston

Global Immersions Recruiting - Wednesday, October 24, 2018

With October 31st right around the corner, it’s time to get into the Halloween spirit. If this is your first-time spending October in Boston, you have to take advantage of the fun, festive, and free Halloween happenings in the city. Celebrating Halloween is a great way to spend time with your host family while experiencing a part of U.S. culture that may be very different from your home country. Here is your guide to some of the exciting Halloween-themed activities happening this week!

See Some Costumed Canines

Attention animal lovers! There are two opportunities this Halloween to see a lot of dogs decked out in some hilarious, adorable, and creative costumes. Visit the Charles River Esplanade or Faneuil Hall Marketplace this Saturday to get in the Halloween spirit with some festive pups! The 8th Annual Canine Promenade is a half-mile parade along the Charles River for Bostonians and their pets. Admission is free for those who just want to spectate (and maybe pet some puppies). The Halloween Pet Parade at Faneuil Hall is another celebration for owners and their furry friends. During this parade registered participants have the chance to walk the red carpet for a panel of judges and compete for awards like Best of Show, Best Owner and Pet Combo, Most Creative, and Spookiest. Both events are from 12 pm – 2 pm, but if you’re feeling ambitious, why not attend both? After all, you can never have too many dogs in your life!  


Discover Spooky Halloween Decorations

One unique way to explore the city is to go on a hunt for the best Halloween decorations. Many homes in the Boston area go all out for Halloween, turning their house and lawn into an elaborate Halloween scene. The Jack-o’- lantern Journey at Franklin Park Zoo is one example of a Halloween wonderland, featuring a half-mile trail of 5,000 glowing, carved pumpkins. Beacon Hill is another part of the city that looks magical during Halloween. Residents illuminate their homes with festive lights paired with cotton cobwebs and other spooky decorations. The Boston Globe published an article about other addresses where home owners have gotten into the Halloween spirit. Maybe you’ll recognize some of the decorated homes near you! 


Pumpkin Palooza

The Lawn on D’s annual event is back again with more Halloween fun for all ages. Pumpkin Palooza features a lot of free events: like pumpkin carving, a costume parade, a magic show, fire dancers, and a juggling performance just to name a few. There will be live music performances by Angelo David, Aldous Collins, and Entrain at night, as well as a cash bar for those 21+. Kids and adults alike can ride around the lawn on a train, passing through the pumpkin tunnel or stopping to photograph their costumes in the photo booth. Pumpkin Palooza takes place this Saturday, October 27th with festivities beginning at noon until the evening.

Trick- or -Treating

The best way to experience Halloween in the U.S. is to go trick -or- treating! Ask your host family to take you trick- or- treating in your neighborhood. Trick-or-treating is a fun way to experience a U.S. tradition while exploring your homestay community and getting some candy! Most neighborhoods in the Boston area will have trick-or-treaters out on Halloween night, but you can always visit a different area if your town isn’t a great trick-or-treating spot. The South Boston Chamber of Commerce is hosting a Trick-or-Treating Event on East and West Broadway Street Halloween night from 4 pm- 6 pm, where local residences and businesses will be passing out candy. Remember to dress in your Halloween best! Ask your host family for help creating your costume.

Day of the Dead

The Mexican holiday, El Dia de Los Muertos, takes place at the same time as Halloween. Though the two holidays have some similarities. Day of the Dead is not the same as Halloween in Mexican culture. Day of the Dead is a celebration of deceased family members. On this day observers demonstrate love and respect to lost ancestors through rituals and celebrations filled with cultural symbolism.  Across Mexico, participants wear special makeup and costumes, have parades and parties, sing and dance, and make offerings to lost loved ones. Day of the dead is a three -day celebration from October 31st to November 2nd. The Mexican community in Boston hosts many events in honor of this holiday, such as the 3rd Annual Dia de Los Muertos Festival and Parade at the Veronica Rubles Cultural Center in East Boston. This event will feature a cultural parade as well as activities from 2 pm – 7 pm on Saturday, November 3. Admission to the festival is free. 

We hope you have a safe and happy Halloween! Share your creative costumes, favorite candy, and all your Halloween activities with us by using #HomestayBoston or tagging @globalimmersions!


Source: Boston Magazine, Boston.com

Seven Can’t Miss Sights in Salem, MA

Global Immersions Recruiting - Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Salem, the Massachusetts city infamous for the 1692 witch trials is the perfect destination for a spooky weekend excursion. Salem in October is full of festive activities to get you in the Halloween spirit and out of Boston for a day! When planning your Salem trip itinerary, be sure to make time to visit these seven spots. 


Salem Willows

While Salem might be known for its “witches” it also has a beautiful waterfront that should not be overlooked. Salem Willows is a public, seaside, park offering scenic views and the world’s best popcorn along with a popular arcade and carousel ride. While you're there, stop by nearby Pickering Wharf - another location along the Salem waterfront that has adorable shops and tasty restaurants.



The Salem Witch Museum

The Salem Witch Museum is probably the most famous museum in Salem. The Witch Museum gives visitors a life-like retelling of Salem's 17th-century history, featuring stage sets with wax figures, lighting, and narration to present an accurate depiction of the Salem Witch Trials. The current exhibit, "Witches-Evolving Perceptions", draws parallels in history between the "witches" of 1692 to the Japanese-Americans encamped during WWII and the blacklisted Communists of the 1950s. The Museum is open daily with extended hours in October. 

The House of Seven Gables

This historic home was built in 1668 and was once owned by serval prominent maritime families. The home is perhaps most well known for being famously chronicled in Nathaniel Hawthorne’s novel of the same name. If you're visiting Salem, check out the House of Seven Gables for a guided tour...and decided for yourself if it’s truly as haunted as the stories say.

The Witch House

Another famous Salem home, the Salem Witch House, is the only remaining structure in Salem with direct ties to the Witch Trials. The home was once inhabited by Judge Jonathan Corwin, one of the Salem residents investigating the claims of witchcraft in 1692, and one of the people partly responsible for convicting 20 people of witchcraft. It is said that many of those convicted could have been interrogated by Corwin right in the homes living room. Visitors to Salem can stop by for both guided and self-guided tours.

Spooky Walking Tours

Salem has several night-time walking tours that allow you to learn the town's history in an informative yet terrifying manner. The Salem Witch Walk and Haunted Footsteps Ghost Tour are two popular options. On the Witch Walk, witches take you on a tour of the Salem seaport, while on the Ghost Tour guests are taken through the haunted areas of Salem's streets. 


Harbor Sweets

It wouldn’t be Halloween time without candy! If you’re looking for something sweet and less spooky, head to Harbor Sweets to stock up on all the goodies you need for October 31st.  All the candies and chocolates inside are handmade, so you know you’ll be trying authentic New England treats. 

How Should I Get There? 

If you're planning to visit Salem from the Boston area, you can take the Commuter Rail Newburyport/Rockport Line to Salem. 

Remember to share all your weekend activities with by using #HomestayBoston or tagging @globalimmersions!

How to Spend Your Long Weekend

Global Immersions Recruiting - Thursday, October 04, 2018
What is Columbus Day?? If you’re not familiar with this U.S. federal holiday you can read about its origins here. If you've spent the holiday in Boston before, you'll know that the most exciting part of Columbus Day is taking a mini-vacation away from school. If you’re a student in the Boston area you probably know that Columbus Day means you have an extra-long weekend, which also means you now have extra time to explore the city! Lucky for you there are a lot of fun events happening things weekend and many of them are free. Here are some ways to spend the upcoming long weekend in the city.



East Boston Columbus Day Parade
Head to East Boston Sunday afternoon to experience Columbus Day in the city. Watch and enjoy the annual Columbus Day Parade that has occurred in Boston since 1937. The parade will begin at 1:00 pm in the Suffolk Downs parking lot and will march down Bennington Street, ending at Maverick Square near the waterfront. The parade will feature local organizations as well as veterans groups and can best be viewed from the sidewalk along Bennington Street. 



Chicken Stock 

You might be familiar with the Boston area restaurant, the Chicken and Rice guys. Maybe you've seen their food truck on campus? Well, did you know that they are hosting a free event at the Medford Condon Shell this Saturday? The event will feature live funk, soul and R&B music from local artists as well as free Chicken and Rice Guy's food. The party's main event is their 5th annual ChickyRice eating contest and the Extra Hot Sauce Challenge, where the top contestants can win free Chicken and Rice Guys for a year. If you LOVE chicken and rice or have a high tolerance for spicy food you can sign up for the contest on their event page, however, it might just be fun to watch the other contestants compete.




HONK!

The HONK! festival returns this year to Somerville, for even more music, performances, and celebration. HONK! is a 3-day street band festival, where musicians from all over the U.S. (wielding a variety of brass and percussion instruments) play throughout the city's streets, with no sound speakers or stage to separate them from spectators. HONK! creates an immersive experience as the musicians play among the audience and invite them to join the fun. The festival kicks off Friday night with a lantern parade and band showcase in Davis Square neighborhoods. Then, on Saturday, over 25 bands take over Davis Square for a giant music and dance party, followed by a parade of musicians and local activist groups on Sunday. This event is a great opportunity to engage with members of the Boston community while enjoying live musical performances and the beautiful fall weather. 




Free Admission to the ICA

The Institute of Contemporary Art, normally closed on Mondays, will open on Columbus Day and offer free admission. This is a great opportunity to visit the ICA Watershed, the museum's seasonal space in East Boston, before it closes for the winter. On Monday visitors at the ICA can participate in special events and activities (like art making and short films) as well as view all of the museum's current exhibitions. This is a perfect time to visit the museum if you haven't been able to make your way there on a Thursday when museum admission is normally free.

 


The Manhattan Short Film Festival, an annual film festival of international short films, received thousands of entries from more than 70 countries this year. Of those entries, on 9 finalists were chosen. These 9 films were then screened over 1,000 times in theaters in more than 250 cities on six continents between September 27th and October 7th. On October 6th, those in the Boston area have the opportunity to see these films during a screening at the Museum of Fine Arts. Viewers are invited not only to watch the films but also to judge them! On entry to the theater, you are given a ballot card to vote for your favorite short film and actor. Your votes are sent to Manhattan Short's headquarters and the winner will be announced on Monday! You can watch the event trailer here. 



Spend your day off exploring Boston's Fenway neighborhood at the Opening Our Doors Event sponsored by the Fenway Alliance. Enjoy free activities like a neighborhood walking tour, live musical performances, art installations, an interactive community mural, craft making, and a rhythm and dance parade. The event begins at 10:00 am at 200 Huntington Avenue/Avenue of the Arts with a performance by Boston's Children's Chorus, a New Orleans-style front line parade, and free cupcakes from Oakleaf Cakes! Following the event kick-off, a complimentary trolley will bring attendees to activities at key locations such as Evans Way Park and the Museum of Fine Arts. 

We hope you take advantage of this holiday to explore Boston and are we are excited to see how you'll spend your day off.  Share your long weekend activities with by using #HomestayBoston or tagging @globalimmersions!

Get Your Fill of Fine Arts This Weekend

Global Immersions Recruiting - Monday, September 24, 2018

Checking out Boston's music and art scene is a must-do during your immersion experience in the city. You might not know it, but Boston has a lot of free (or inexpensive) events celebrating the arts. This weekend, consider exploring Boston's fine art attractions outside of a traditional museum, and learn more about the city through art, film, and music! 

Music: The Boston Pops (Free Concert)

What better way to spend your Sunday than at a free concert put on by the world-famous Boston Pops! The Pops will perform a special free concert at Franklin Park as part of the Park's community arts festival. Aside from the concert, the festival will have other fun, interactive events, such as mural painting, an instrument playground, crafts, a photo booth, live animal demonstrations and more!

When: Sunday, September 30th, 3 pm - 7 pm (The Playstead at Franklin Park) 

Music: The Beyonce and Coldplay Experience 

Do you prefer pop to classical music? What about pop music mixed with science? If that sounds intriguing, consider spending your Saturday night at the Museum of Science to experience the popular music of your favorite artists, fused with stunning visuals under the Charles Hayden Planetarium dome. This is not your average listening party! Hear hits by Beyoncé or Coldplay as you are taken on a “sensory journey full of innovation, artistry, and imagination.”

When: Coldplay: Saturday, September 29th, 7:30 pm - 8:30 pm, Beyonce: Saturday, September 29th, 8:30 pm - 9:30 pm

Film: The Boston Latino International Film Festival (BLIFF)

Throughout the year, Boston hosts a variety of interesting and eye-opening international film festivals, and the BLIFF is no exception. This celebration of Latin culture will feature documentaries as well as full length and short films that explore Latino-related topics. The film festival is an exciting opportunity to get a glimpse of Latino culture through the eyes of members of the Latino community in the United States and other Spanish speaking countries. 28 films will be screened at 4 different locations around the city, this Thursday through Sunday. Admission is free!

When: Thursday, Sep 27th, 7:00 pm - Sunday, Sep 30th, 9:00 pm

 

Art: SoWa Artists Market

Every Sunday, the artist studios in Boston's SoWa district open to the public at the SoWa Open Market. The South End becomes busy with artists showcasing their work and art lovers browsing their studios to find that special piece. On Harrison Avenue, four floors of artist studios are open, displaying paintings, sculptures, drawings, and other crafts. While you're at visiting the artist studios, be sure to check out the SoWa farmers market or food trucks bazaar, after a long morning of art spectating, you'll be hungry for lunch!

When: Sunday, September 30th, 10:00 am - 4:00 pm

Art: Boston's Women's Market 

Boston's Women's Market is celebrating its one year anniversary! This market, located in the Seaport District, showcases work made strictly by local female artists and entrepreneurs. Shoppers can find everything from jewelry, to candles, to body lotions, ceramics, clothes and more. Come to support New England's inspiring female entrepreneurs and stay to explore Seaport and the sights along Boston's beautiful waterfront. 

When: Sunday, September 30th, 12:30 pm - 4:30 pm (District Hall - 75 Northern Ave, Boston)

We hope you see or hear something interesting this weekend! Share all your adventures with us by using #HomestayBoston!

Fall Fun: Apple Picking Near Boston!

Global Immersions Recruiting - Sunday, September 16, 2018

Fall Fun: Apple Picking Near Boston!

It’s that time of year again – the Summer weather is changing and in just a few shorts weeks it will officially be Fall. If you’re lucky enough to spend this Autumn in Boston, you can’t miss out on a classic New England activity: apple picking. Here are some PYO apple spots that aren’t too tough to get to from the city.


Belkin Family Lookout Farm

Belkin Farm is actually one of the oldest family farms in the United States and has over 180 acres with 60,000 fruit trees.  The farm offers PYO fruit options both weekdays and weekends. What can you pick? They have a variety of apples from Macintosh, to Golden Supreme, or Golden Delicious, as well as Asian pears, peaches, and plums.  After a day spent in the orchards, 21+ visitors can check out the taproom and try some of Lookout’s beers and ciders, brewed on site using the farms own produce.

Directions:

89 Pleasant St S, Natick, MA 01760

Public Transit: Take the Commuter Rail Framingham Line to Natick Center, then take a ride share service or taxi only a short distance to the farm.


Russell Orchards

Russell Orchards in Ipswich, MA also has a large variety of pick-your-own apples, as well as blueberries and blackberries. The Orchard’s bakery offers a fall staple – apple cider donuts. Like Belkin’s Lookout Farm, Russell Orchards has an added attraction for 21+ guests. The Orchard’s winery holds daily tasting hours and serves wines and hard ciders made right on the premises with their own fruit. If you’re an animal lover, be sure to stop by the barnyard to visit the farm animals! Pet the farm’s adorable bunnies or help feed the pigs and chickens.

Directions:

143 Argilla Rd, Ipswich, MA 01938

Public Transit: Take the Commuter Rail Newburyport Line from North Station to the Ipswich stop. After the farm is only a short ride away via taxi or ride share.


Connors Farm

Connors Farm in Danvers, MA is known for much more than their produce. Aside from apple picking (and other New England favorites like clam chowder), the Farm has a GIANT corn maze built into a different shape each year. This year’s maze is called “Crazy Train” and it looks crazy hard to navigate (seriously, one family got lost and had to call 911 to get themselves out). Connors Farm is also unique in that it hosts special events throughout the season, from “Flashlight Nights” in October to live entertainment and “Hillbilly Pig Races” on the weekends. If you’re into scary movies, you might enjoy Connor’s Farm at Halloween when it transforms into the haunted farm, “Hysteria”. If monsters and evil clowns aren’t your thing, you can always stop by the farm during the day for a much less terrifying experience.  

Directions:

30 Valley Rd, Danvers, MA 01923

Public Transit: Take the Commuter Rail Newburyport Line from North Station to the North Beverly stop. Then, hail a taxi or call a rideshare to the farm.


Smolak Farms

Smolak Farms in North Andover is another quintessential New England Farm. Smolak Farms is probably best known for their farm stand and bakery, which serves homemade goods each morning. On your visit to Smolak Farms be sure to spend time in the pumpkin patch, where you can have your pick at all shapes and sizes of pumpkins. You’ll definitely find the perfect one to display by your front door come October. Smolak Farms also offers daily PYO heirloom and standard apples from their many orchards. They have over 20 different types of apples! Maybe you can try to taste them all…

Directions:

315 S Bradford St, North Andover, MA 01845

Public Transit: Take the Commuter Rail Haverill Line from North Station to the Andover stop, after that it’s only a quick taxi or ride share to the farm.


Are planning to go apple picking with your host family or friends? Share all your fall activities with us by tagging @Globalimmersions or #HomestayBoston on Instagram!

Labor Day Around the World

Global Immersions Recruiting - Monday, August 27, 2018


American Labor Day:

The first Monday of September, the day when workers and all they have accomplished is celebrated. For most people this holiday just means they get to enjoy a three day weekend and a day off work. It also  means that sadly summer is coming to an end and the school year is starting. Do you know how this holiday came to be?

History:

12 day hours, 7 days a week was the average work schedule for an American in the 1800s during the Industrial Revolution. Adults and even children were working in unsafe and extreme conditions for little money. Strikes and rallies were formed to protest rights such as the Chicago Haymarket Riot in 1886. In New York 1882, 10,000 people took an unpaid day off work and marched for rights. This became the first Labor Day Parade which is still held today. People kept protesting for the work day to go from 12 hours to 8 hours to the point where violence was involved. Finally, in spring of 1894, President Cleveland signed a bill to pass a legal holiday for workers and their rights. To learn more about the history, click here.

Labor Day Traditions Around the World:


Many Americans have barbecues, family gatherings, go to the beach and see fireworks in early September. For more than 80 countries around the world, May Day or International Workers Day is held on May 1. In some countries, people even work on the day instead of it being a work-free holiday.

In France, people give their family members flowers. Parades and campaigns are held for workers' rights as many shops are closed. In Jamaica, people celebrate the workers who contribute to their country on May 24th, which originally honored the labor rebellion. It also used to honor Queen Victoria's birthday because she helped end slavery. In the Bahamas, the first Friday in June is taken off to remember the workers' strike held in  1942. There is a parade held in the capital, Nassau every year. 

In New Zealand, the fourth Monday in October is a public holiday to honor the 1840 eight-hour working day movement. In Trinidad and Tobago, June 19th is a day to remember the 1937 Butler labor riots. In Bangladesh, April 24th is known as Labor Safety day to honor the victims of the Rana Plaza building collapse. This day is used for inspecting safety measures in companies and businesses. 

In Italy, festivals, concerts and public demonstrations are held around this holiday. In Germany, 'Witches Night' is celebrated the night of April 30 to rid the evil spirits and pranks are played on friends. May 1, spring is welcomed by people putting up maypoles and marches being held for workers rights. In countries such as Ireland, Poland and Norway, the beginning of spring is celebrated with planting flowers and being outside on May Day.

We hope you enjoy your Labor Day Weekend!

Your Guide to July 4th in Boston

Global Immersions Recruiting - Friday, June 29, 2018

Boston is an exciting city during the week of July 4th. The city is a host of many different events, from concerts to parades to historical reenactments. City-sponsored celebrations are popular with Boston residents and tend to be very successful is drawing large crowds of  participants. If you plan on spending Independence Day in Boston consider attending one of these major events.


Boston Pop's Concert and Fireworks Show

The annual performance by the Boston Pop's, lead by famous conductor Keith Lockhart, will once again take place at the Hatch Shell on the Charles River Esplanade. This year's lineup features headliner Rachel Platten, a Newton native and artist of the popular 2015 track "Fight Song". The concert will also have performances by Rhiannon Giddens, of Carolina Chocolate Drops, the Indigo Girls, and an appearance by actress Rita Moreno. The free event offers seating on a first come first serve basis and is likely to be crowded- so show up early! An identical concert will be held on July 3rd, however unlike the July 4th show, this concert will not be followed by a fireworks display. Both concerts begins at 8:00 pm and the fireworks show on the 4th will start at 10:30 pm. If you can't make the show in person, you can watch it live online.

Harbor Fest

Harbor Fest is an annual event that celebrates Boston's Harbor and History. Harbor Fest hosts many events over independence day weekend. Such events include live music performances, historical reenactments, Freedom Trail Walks, and boat tours. The festival will also include a clambake and scavenger hunt. Marty Walsh will cut the ceremonial Harbor Fest cake at Faneuil Hall on June 28th, signifying the start of the festival that will last through July 4th. The Harbor Fest website provides a full schedule of events during the week, which you can find here.

Independence Day Recognition

Boston's official Independence Day recognition and Parade will take place at 9:00 am on July 4th at City Hall Plaza. The event begins with a flag raising ceremony and then continues with a parade to the Granary Burial Ground, where wreaths are laid on the graves of patriots before the parade marches on to the Old State House by Faneuil Hall. At 10:00 am the Declaration of Independence will bead read from the balcony at the Old State House by the current Captain Commanding of the Ancient and Honorable Artillery Company, to mimic the way the document was read to the citizens of Boston in July of 1776.

Source: Masslive, BostonUSA, Boston Magazine

International Summer Festivals

Global Immersions Recruiting - Tuesday, May 29, 2018

June 22nd will be the longest day of the year. The Summer Solstice signifies the first official day of summer in the United States and the start of what will hopefully be a period of warmer weather in Boston! The meaning of the Summer Solstice varies across cultures, though many recognize the start of summer with special holidays, festivals or rituals. While the United States does not have a popular holiday related to the start of summer, other areas of the world have specific cultural traditions that celebrate the Summer Solstice. Here is how some countries welcome the start of the summer season.

Kupala Night

Kupala Night is a celebration observed in countries with Slavic ancestry such as Ukraine, Russia, Poland, and Belarus. The festival signifies the end of the summer solstice and the start of the harvest season. During this festival participants build fires that they then jump over to demonstrate bravery and strength. A strong theme of the festival is love, and couples will jump over the fire while holding hands to prove that their relationship will last. Additionally, women will float flower wreathes in rivers, which men then try to capture, in the hope of also capturing the interest of the woman who floated the wreath. A sinking wreath is considered a predication of loneliness while a floating wreath indicates the prospect of love. Some participants will also search through the woods for the mythical "fern flower", which is thought to bring good fortune if found, although botanical experts do not believe that this flower actually exists. Historically, this search was an excuse for unmarried couples to spend alone time together without a chaperone, though today is done just for fun. While the festival has Pagan roots it has been incorporated into the Christian calendar as "St. Johns Eve" however, it still contains Pagan elements such as fortune telling rituals and the wearing of flower crowns. Many of these traditions are customary to rural areas as the holiday has been given a more modern twist is major cities where fireworks and concerts are also held.


Midsummer

At the start of the Swedish holiday of Midsummer, many Swedes head to the country side to begin their five week summer vacation.  On Midsummer's Eve (usually a Friday between the 19th and 25th of June) cities essentially shut down as many businesses close and streets are deserted. Families gather together in the country and have large celebrations complete with traditional dances around a may pole and crafting flower wreathes and other decorations. A typical midsummer meal is a variety of pickled herring and potatoes as well as grilled salmon or ribs followed by strawberries for desert. After dinner many Swedes go out dancing. Midsummer is also a popular time for weddings or christenings. Despite the fact thatSwedes are not particularly religious, many people want to get married at a country church during this time of year.


The Duanwu Festival

The Duanwu Festival, known in the West as the "Dragon Boat Festival", is a traditional Chinese holiday that takes place each year near the summer solstice.The festival is also often called the "Double Fifth Festival" as it takes place on the fifth day of the fifth month of the Lunar Calendar. This year the festival will take place from June 16th to 18th. The Festival celebrates Chinese poet Qu Yuan, who is considered to be a martyr in the country. Qu Yaun was a member of the ruling house in the ancient state of Chu.  He drowned himself when the powerful Chinese state of Qin captured Ying, the Chu capital. The story of Qu Yuan describes how local admirers of Qu raced out on boats to try to save him. When they could not find Qu, they dropped balls of sticky rice into the river so that fish would eat them instead of Qu's body. This is the origin of Duanwu's dragon boat races and the reason why people snack on "zongzi", or sticky rice balls, during this holiday.

Boston will hold its own Dragon Boat Festival this summer. The 39th Annual Hong Kong Dragon Boat Festival will take place over the weekend of June 9th - 10th and feature Dragon Boat races as well as performances, art, and food.


The Bon Festival

Japan's Bon Festival, or Obon, occurs this year on August 13th - 15th. The three day celebration honors Japanese ancestors and has become an opportunity for families to reunite and spend time together. During the festival people hang lanterns outside their houses to help guide their dead ancestors back home. Families will also visit and clean the graves of loved ones who have died. Perhaps the most significant tradition of the Bon Festival is the Bon Odori, a traditional folk dance that welcomes the spirit of the dead. The dance is different in each region with songs a lyrics specific to that area.

Boston will also host Obon celebrations this summer. Historically Japanese schools such as Boston Higashi School and Showa Boston will each have their own Bon Festival featuring music, dancing, and Japanese food.

Source: WikipediaCulture Trip, Meet the Slavs, Sweden.se, Colorzine


Recent Posts


Tags


Archive