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 

Veteran's Day in Boston

Global Immersions Recruiting - Thursday, November 08, 2018

Sunday is Veterans Day, the federal holiday that honors and celebrates those who have served in the U.S. Armed Forces. Veterans Day falls on the same day as Armistice Day and Remembrance Day, which are observed in other countries to commemorate the anniversary of the end of World War I. Veterans Day always falls on November 11th, as World War I ended at the 11th hour on the 11th day of the 11th month in 1918. The holiday became official in 1954 after Armistice Day in the U.S. was renamed to Veterans  Day. Boston has a lot of events happening this week in honor of Veterans Day. Here are a few of the highlights: 


Veterans Day Parades                               

Boston has two annual Veteran’s Day Parades. The Boston Veteran’s Day Parade and the Veteran’s Peace Parade. The “original” Veterans Day celebration, the Veteran’s Day Parade, takes place on November 11th at the corner of Boylston and Tremont streets. The parade route continues on to City Hall Plaza and Faneuil Hall next to the statue of Sam Adams. The Parade features a variety of different participants, from ROTC groups to Veteran’s organizations, honorary militias, and marching bands. The Peace Parade follows a similar route, beginning shortly after the first parade. The Peace Parade also features a similar group of marching bands and veteran’s groups, however, it focuses more on the original intention of Armistice Day, as a celebration of Peace. Spectators can expect to see signs and banners promoting peace and non-violent solutions to wars or conflict. The Peace Parade was founded in 1985 by Veterans for Peace, an organization dedicated to increasing awareness about the harsh realities of war. At the conclusion of each parade, parade-goers are welcome to gather by the statute of Sam Adams to listen to speeches, anti-war reading, poetry, and music.


Veteran’s Day Harbor Cruise

The Harbor Cruise is a popular Veteran's Day tradition for both military and non-military families. On Saturday, November 10th, families are invited to tour Fort Warren on Georges Island to learn of Boston’s centuries-long military history, from the American Revolution through the Civil War and up to present day, while honoring past and present soldiers. The cruise departs from the Charlestown Navy Yard and from Long Wharf at 11:00 am and return at 3:00 pm.  Tickets are $10 for non-military members and free for active duty military members and up to three of their family members. To make sure you (and your host family) get a spot on the cruise, register here. 


Charity Walks & Runs

Two charity race take place this Veteran’s Day Weekend- the Dav 5K and Somerville Honor Run. The Dav 5K is a walk, run, or motorcycle race that honors those who have served and raises awareness of the issues and illnesses that military veterans may face. The event takes place on Boston’s Castle Island at 9:00 am on November 10th. The proceeds from the Dav 5K are used to support local organizations for veteran’s and their families. The second race, the Somerville Honor Runbenefits Somerville's George Dilboy VFW Post #529 and honors all those men and women who have served in the United States Armed Forces. The event starts at 9:00 am on November 11th in Davis Square and consists of a 4-mile route. All participants get a long sleeve running shirt and entry to the post-race block party, where local restaurants and breweries will be providing refreshments. You can get your ticket to the race here.

We hope you enjoy your long weekend, and to the veterans in our host network – we thank you for your service! 

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!

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!

Happy National Ice Cream Day!

Global Immersions Recruiting - Thursday, July 12, 2018

                                                                           

National Ice Cream Day is this Sunday, July 15th!

Ever curious about the difference between soft serve vs. regular ice cream? Here's a little history lesson on the two:

   

Soft Serve 

Who doesn't love the soft, smooth and creamy taste of soft serve ice cream? It was originally invented in 1934 by Tom Carvel after his ice cream truck broke down in Hartsdale, New York.  His ice cream melted, yet customers still bought it. Carvel realized a lighter version of ice cream was a brilliant business idea. He created a secret recipe and opened a store called Carvel  within two years. Dairy Queen  had similar ideas when developing a soft serve recipe in 1938 in Moline, IL.  In a sample tasting of their new product, 1,600 servings were consumed within two hours. Still today, soft serve is a hit among ice cream lovers. It is lower in milk fat and stored at a lower temperature than regular ice cream.  Soft serve is up to 45% air in volume which gives it the fluffiness that melts in your mouth.

Regular Ice Cream 

Variations of ice cream can be traced back centuries to the ancient world.  It began in China around 200 BC where they used a mixture of milk, rice and snow. In 400 BC, Persians ate ice flavored with fruit and rose water. At this time in Ancient Greece, snow with honey and fruit was served at markets in Athens. In Rome, Emperors carried ice from mountains to combine it with fruit. During the sixteenth century, Mughal Emperors in India had ice transported to make fruit sorbets. By the 1600's, ice cream became popular in Europe appearing in recipes in French cookbooks. Ice cream finally reached North America by the mid 1700's as it was introduced by Quaker colonists. Fast forward to the 1840's and ice cream makers were invented in England and America by Agnes Marshall and Nancy Johnson. Today, the average American eats anywhere from 19-23 pounds of ice cream annually. It contains at least 10% milk fat and 16% sweeteners. 12% is milk and 55% is water.



    

Looking for the BEST ice cream in Boston?

There's obviously the infamous Ben & Jerry's,  Emack and Bolio's, and J. P. Lick's, but what about some other local shops?  Here are a few to try around Boston: Gracie's Ice Cream, Christinia's Homemade Ice Cream, Forge Ice Cream Bar,  Lizzy's Ice Cream, Tipping Cow Ice Cream,  BerryLine, Amorino, Toscanini's, Cold Stone Creamery, Juicy Spot Cafe, Blackbird Doughnuts,  Molly Moo's Ice Cream and Cafe.  

Looking for non-dairy options? Try FoMu which serves dairy free ice cream, vegan, gluten free, soy free and kosher sweets.

For more detailed information and the top 10 list check out these links below:

https://www.bostonmagazine.com/restaurants/2018/06/29/best-boston-ice-cream/

https://boston.eater.com/maps/best-new-ice-cream-boston

     

Craving Gelato and the Italian experience

Head to the North End to be transported to Italy to enjoy some delicious gelato.  During the summer, you can stroll the streets of the North End while enjoying a cone without the airfare!  Click here for a list of places in the North End where you can find the best gelato.

Fun Facts about Ice Cream

  • Chocolate ice cream was invented before vanilla
  • Vanilla is the most popular ice cream flavor
  • In Norway, the record for the tallest ice cream cone was over 10 feet tall
  • 90 % of American's have ice cream in their freezer
  • New Zealand consumes the most ice cream
  • A record holding 1.75 gallons of ice cream was eaten in eight minutes 
  • Some of the strangest ice cream flavors are lobster, octopus, horseradish and raw horse flesh... ew!

Whether you're chilling at home or out at the beach, we hope you beat the heat and celebrate a day for eating ice cream!

   


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

Memorial Day Weekend 2018

Global Immersions Recruiting - Monday, May 14, 2018

Memorial Day, the U.S. holiday that honors those who have lost their lives in the military, takes place next Monday, May 28th. As Memorial Day is federal holiday, many people will be traveling elsewhere for the long weekend. However, if you will be staying in the Boston area here are some exciting (and free!) ways to spend the holiday. 


Memorial Day Parades

Neighborhoods of the greater Boston area will hold memorial day parades over the weekend and on Monday. Most parades will feature local veterans as well as services and activities to honor fallen heroes. Somerville's Memorial Day celebration was early (Sunday, May 20th) but other parades, such as those in Brookline, Watertown, Belmont, Malden, Medford, Everett and Revere, will take place next Monday.This map shows where, when, and at what time each parade will occur.

The Boston Common Flag Garden

The Massachusetts Military Heroes Fund's Flag Garden on Boston Common  is a Memorial Day tradition. Each Memorial Day tradition hundreds of volunteers help "plant" small American flags at the Commons' Soldiers and Sailors monument. The completed garden contains over 37,000 flags that represent each Massachusetts service member who lost their life defending the United States since the Revolutionary war. 

Free Admission to the MFA and ICA

On Memorial Day Boston's Museum of Fine Arts and Institute of Contemporary Art are offering free admission to all visitors.  This month the MFA and ICA have new exhibits such as "M.C. Escher Infinite Dimensions" and "Phantasmagoria" at the MFA and showcases by Kevin Beasley and Caitlin Keogh at the ICA.


The Run to Remember

Sunday, May 27th is the 14th annual "Run to Remember", a charity half-marathon or 5 mile race in honor of all first responders who have lost their lives in the line of duty. The race is sponsored by the Boston Police Department and Boston Runner's Club. The race course, which begins at the Seaport World Trade Center, extends throughout downtown Boston. Proceeds from participant entry and donations will benefit community and children's programs of the Boston Police Runner's Club. "The Run to Remember" features other family-friendly events in the days leading up to the race. On Friday and Saturday, the Seaport World Trade Center will host a free Sports and Fitness Expo as well as a variety of activities for children. Popular Boston radio station, Mix 104.1, will also be on site both Saturday and Sunday playing music and providing entertainment.

The Month of Ramadan

Global Immersions Recruiting - Thursday, May 10, 2018

May 15th marks the beginning of the Islamic celebration of Ramadan. Ramadan is not a well-known holiday to those outside of the Muslim community in America, but is widely observed by those who practice Islam. Here is a little information about this up-coming celebration.

(A Ramadan celebration is held at the White House each year. This tradition was started during the Clinton Administration and has been since followed by Bush and Obama. )

Islam is the world's second largest religion, after Christianity. Over 1 billion people in the world are Muslim, or followers of Islam. In the U.S. it is estimated that there is 7 million Muslim people, and each of the 50 U.S. states is home to at least one mosque, the Muslim place of worship. Followers of Islam believe that around 610 A.D. a man named Muhammad, from the now Saudi Arabian city of Mecca, started receiving messages from God (known as Allah) through the angel Gabriel. These messages have been collected in the holy book of Islam, known at the Quran (or Koran). Muslims believe that Muhammad was the last and final prophet in a line of prophets that includes such religious figures as Adam, Abraham, Moses, and Jesus Christ. Muslims also believe that God, Allah, is the single, all knowing God and that Muslims can achieve salvation by following the commandments of God. Five key concepts form the basis of the Islamic religion. These core ideas, known as the "Five Pillars of Islam", include a declaration of faith (known as shahada), prayer (five times per day), charitable giving (known as zakat), fasting, and pilgrimage to Mecca.

(Mecca, Saudi Arabia)

Ramadan refers to the ninth month of the 12-month Islamic lunar calendar. It is the month that during which Muslims believe that Muhammad received the initial messages from God that became the Quran. Because the lunar calendar is based upon the phases of the moon, Ramadan does not start and end at the same time each year. This year, Ramadan begins at sunset on Tuesday, May 15th and ends on Thursday, June 14th.

Ramadan Practices

During the month of Ramadan, Muslims fast from dawn until dusk each day. Fasting is seen in the Islamic religion as a cleansing process, meant to relive the body of toxins and also to show empathy for those who are less fortunate and may be hungry. The first meal of the day during Ramadan, eaten just before sunrise is known as "suhoor". Usually, healthy foods are eaten during this meal so that the person fasting has enough energy to last them throughout the day. East day's fast is broken with a meal known as "iftar". Iftars are typically larger, more elaborate feasts celebrated with the family or close friends. The foods eaten during the iftar meal vary across cultures.  


(Sweets prepared for Eid-Al Fitr)

Eid Al-Fitr

Eid Al-Fitr (or Eid ul-Fitr) is a major celebration that signifies the end of the month of Ramadan. The name of this celebration means "The Feast of Fast Breaking". Eid lasts three days following the end of Ramadan. During Eid Al-Fitr families will recite special prayers and enjoy meals with relatives and friends. Often gifts are exchanged among family members.

Source: History.com

Mother's Day Around the World

Global Immersions Recruiting - Monday, April 30, 2018


In the United States Mother's Day is traditionally celebrated on the second Sunday in May, so this year that means May 13th. Mother's Day was founded by a woman named Anna Jarvis, who held a memorial for her deceased Mother at a church in West Virginia in 1905. Anna's Mother, Ann Reeves Jarvis, had been a peace activist who cared for wounded soldiers on both sides of the American Civil War.  Anna Jarvis wanted to honor her mother and all mothers in America and so she began to advocate for Mother's Day as a recognized holiday. At first, Congress rejected the proposal to make Mother's Day an official holiday, but then several states, beginning with Jarvis' home state of West Virginia, began to adopt Mother's Day as a holiday. In 1914, President Woodrow Wilson signed a proclamation designating Mother's Day as a national holiday to honor America's mothers. Mother's Day is also celebrated elsewhere in the world. Here are how some countries observe Mother's Day.


Thailand

Mother's Day in Thailand is celebrated on August 12th, on the day of  Queen Sirkit's birthday, a former queen of Thailand who is considered the "mother of the country".  In the days before the holiday, Thai people celebrate by displaying portraits and shrines of Queen Sirkit, as well as putting on fireworks shows and candle lighting ceremonies. In addition to comemorating the birthday of the Queen, Thai mother's are celebrated on this day as well. Children often give their mother's gifts such as white jasmine flowers, which represent maternal love. Children may also give alms to monks in honor of their mothers.


Australia

In Australia, Mother's Day is celebrated on the same day as in the U.S. The traditional flower of the Australian Mother's Day is the Chrysanthemum, which is in full bloom during the season of Autumn when Australian Mother's Day occurs. On this day, Chrysanthemums, as well as carnations, are given to mothers. Many Australians wear colored carnations if their mothers are still living and white carnations if they are deceased.


Poland

Polish Mother's Day, also known as "Dzień Matki", is celebrated on May 26th. The holiday gained popularity after WWII, and is now an official holiday of Poland. Because it is an official holiday, many businesses are closed and families have celebrations at home. On Mother's Day, schools often host special events where children give their mothers gifts such as "laurki", or papers decorated with flowers and written messages. At home, family members may gather and have a party, complete with more gift giving and cake.


India

India's Mother's Day is celebrated on the same day as in the U.S. On Mother's Day , Indian children give their Mother's cards and often cook a meal for them. A similar holiday is celebrated by followers of the Hindu religion in October. This festival, called "Durga Puja", honors the goddess Durga, or the "Divine Mother" of India. Durga Purja lasts 10 days, during which people fast, then feast, pray, sing, dance, and perform cultural dramas.

Source: Thebump.com

Passover Celebrations: The Seder

Global Immersions Recruiting - Friday, March 30, 2018

Tonight marks the start of the Jewish holiday of Passover. Passover is a weeklong celebration in the Jewish religion that commemorates the Hebrew Bible story of the Exodus. In the Jewish faith, the Exodus is the liberation of the Israelite slaves in Egypt by Moses (a prominent  figure in the Hebrew Bible). A large aspect of the Passover celebration is the Seder. Here is some insight into how this tradition is practiced.


(The White House Seder)

The Seder

The Seder is a home ritual practiced during Passover.  The Hebrew word "Seder", which translates to "order", reflects the idea that the order in which participants do things during the Seder (like eat, pray, etc.) is significant, and is outlined in a Jewish religious text called the Haggadah. Families typically hold a Seder on the first or second night of Passover.


The Seder Plate

An important aspect of the Seder service is the Seder plate- a partitioned plate containing certain amounts of specific foods. Each food is symbolic of a certain aspect of the Passover story. A roasted lamb shank (which is not eaten) represents the old tradition of sacrificing a lamb during Passover, a hard boiled egg represents spring and the circle of life, bitter herbs represent the bitterness of slavery, haroset (a mixture of wine, nuts, and apples) represents the mortar used by the Jews in Egypt, and karpas (or greens such as parsley) are used to represent spring.  


(Matzah bread)

Unleavened bread, known as matzah, is also placed on the table to represent the bread that the Jews took with them when they fled Egypt and salt water is used to represent the tears of slaves. According to the story of Passover, the Jewish people did not have enough time to wait for their bread to rise before they had to leave Egypt. This is why many followers of the Jewish faith do not eat any form of leavened bread during the week of Passover.

Other traditions

In some homes the Seder table may also have special wine glasses, or kiddish cups. The Torah (the main text of the Jewish faith) commands that at least four symbolic cups of wine be consumed during the Seder. There is sometimes two extra cups; one for the Jewish prophet Elijah whose spirit is believed to visit at Passover, and the other is for Moses' sister Miriam to symbolize her well which is said to have provided water for Israelites in the desert. her cup is also there to symbolize the importance of women during the Exodus. Sometimes families may have pillows on their chairs during the Seder. This is to encourage reclining at the table during Passover, as a symbol of freedom.


(Matzo Ball Soup)

The Dinner 

Additionally, a Passover meal is also eaten. Passover meals differ between households, but some traditional foods that are often eaten include matzo ball soup, gefilte fish, beef brisket, chicken, and potatoes. 

Source: Time.com


Recent Posts


Tags


Archive