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Welcome to Boston Homestay - Wuhan University Chinese Group!15-Jul-2017

Welcome Wuhan University students from China! They will be touring around Boston for two weeks w..

Welcome to Boston Homestay - Academy at Harvard Square Chinese University Group!11-Jul-2017

Welcome Academy at Harvard Square university students from China! They will be attending a custo..


Best in Hospitality

Best Locations to Enjoy Boston's Waterfront

Global Immersions Recruiting - Wednesday, July 12, 2017

If you're visiting Boston during July, you know that the weather will not only be unpredictable, but also hot and humid. As a life-long Boston resident, I can tell you with certainty that the best way to cool down and relax on a hot city day is to spend some time near a body of water.

Contrary to popular belief, there are fabulous beaches right in the center of the city. You can easily find yourself soaking up the sun and playing in the sand just by hopping on the MBTA. South Boston ("Southie") is home to four beaches, making those three miles the longest stretch of uninterrupted beach in the Boston area. If you want to relax in the sand, dip your toes in the ice cold water, and look out on the Harbor Islands, Southie beaches are a gem waiting to be discovered.

Another perk to visiting these beaches is Castle Island. At one point a real island, it can now be found adjacent to Pleasure Bay beach and is home to Fort Independence. Be sure to stop by Sully's for some delicious local snacks!

How to get there by T: To get to Carson Beach, the first of the four beaches, take the Red Line to JFK/UMass and walk along the waterfront for about 10-15 minutes. To get to the other beaches, such as L Street beach, M Street beach, and Pleasure Bay beach, take the Red Line to Broadway Station and either walk east along Broadway Street, or hop on the #9 bus to City Point. If you're not looking to bake on the sands of Southie, there are plenty of other ways to enjoy the waters in and around Boston.

Revere Beach, founded in 1896, is the oldest public beach in the United States. Located just north of the city, it is also easily accessible by the MBTA. Restaurants and food vendors, especially Kelly's Roast Beef, make a trip to Revere well worth it. On July 21-23, 2017, the annual International Sand Sculpting Festival will return to Revere beach. This is a weekend of food, fun, and sand sculptures - be sure to grab your sunscreen and come out to enjoy.

    

How to get there by T: Hop on the Blue Line to Revere Station, and walk across the street to the beach. Simple as that! 
Additionally, the Esplanade is a long, thin strip of park that runs along the bank of Boston's side of the Charles River. It is most famous for hosting the Boston Pops and Fireworks celebration on the Fourth of July, however, during the months of July and August, you can also catch a free movie at the Hatch Shell. This month's film lineup includes:

  • July 14 - Sing

  • July 21 - The Jungle Book

  • July 28 - Finding Dory

Be sure to grab a blanket and a snack and come down to the Hatch Shell for a night of fun film entertainment! Movies start at sundown.


How to get there by T: Take the Red Line to Charles/MGH Station, cross over Cambridge and Charles Street, and then take the footbridge over Storrow Drive.

Lastly, enjoy free concerts every Thursday night at 6pm at the ICA Boston on the waterfront (25 Harbor Shore Drive, South Boston Waterfront). Berklee College of Music students will perform jazz, reggae, and music from around the world - paired with food, drinks, and free admission to the museum, it is sure to be a blast!

How to get there by T: Take the Red Line to South Station and pick up the Silver Line. Hop on the Silver Line to the Courthouse stop and then walk 7 minutes.

Check out other activities during the month of July here!

Happy Independence Day!

Global Immersions Recruiting - Thursday, June 29, 2017


Also known as Independence Day, the Fourth of July is a widely celebrated holiday in the United States.  The holiday began on July 4th 1776 when the Declaration of Independence was adopted, thus making the American colonies the United States of America. The federal holiday has been observed since.

Not only does this patriotic holiday mark America's independence from Great Britain, the
Fourth of July serves as a summer-time holiday where families come together and celebrate. Families have cookouts, partake in outdoor activities, and enjoy fireworks together around the city. This holiday is the perfect time to expose your visitor to American culture, and participate in fun activities throughout Boston! Below are some local happenings around the city that you and your visitors can take part in to celebrate the day.


This year, celebrations begin June 30th with the Annual Boston Harborfest Celebration. The festival will start off at the West End of Faneuil Hall with Mayor Marty Walsh and music performed by the 215th Army Band. From Friday June 30th through July 4th, countless outdoor family-friendly activities will be taking place as part of this festival. Check out the schedule for details on these activities, which include a scavenger hunt, a showing of the movie "Yankee Doodle Dandy", and a reading of the Declaration of Independence at the Old North Church.   Another highlight of the festival includes a Boston POPS Orchestra Concert at the Hatch Shell on the Charles River Esplanade, taking place on July 3rd. On July 4th, the same concert will take place with fireworks at the end. Here are some other activities you can take part in:


Visit the Boston Harbor Islands

Enjoy a nice picnic and a scenic view of Boston from any of the Boston Harbor Islands! The islands can be accessed through the Boston Harbor Cruises. and are great for relaxing or spending an active day walking around!


Go Kayaking, Paddleboarding or Canoeing (and get a prime view of the fireworks!)

Paddle Boston offers kayaking, paddleboarding, and canoeing starting at just $15 an hour. This is a great way to cool off and get a scenic view of the city in the summer! In addition to this, they are offering rentals the night of July 4th, allowing kayakers to catch a beautiful view of the fireworks and the city right from the Charles River! 


Host a family barbecue!

It's always nice to spend some time with family and friends and enjoy some hot dogs and hamburgers. (On that note, check out our crazy burgers around Boston blog). Visitors visiting the U.S. may not have had the experience of a barbecue before, and the Fourth of July is the perfect time to host such an event! So kick back, relax, and grill some food to enjoy quality time with family and friends from the comfort of your own backyard.


Visit a Beach 

Although Boston is on the cooler side this year, typically temperatures are pretty high in July. Whether its on the cooler side or sweltering, hit up a local beach to relax and catch some sun. Revere Beach  is T-accessible and is a great spot just outside of Boston to relax. If you're feeling adventurous, there are plenty of beaches outside of Boston such as Plum Island Beach in Newburyport, Singing Beach  in Manchester By The Sea, or various beaches throughout Gloucester. However, these are only suggestions as there are countless beaches just outside of Boston and in the Cape Cod area! (Check out our blog on beaches here!)

Check out other ongoing activities and fireworks viewing spots around Boston hereFor more viewing spots for fireworks around Massachusetts, check out this list of viewing spots around the state! Hopefully these activities will keep you busy, have a safe and enjoyable holiday weekend!

Memorial Day Weekend in Boston

Global Immersions Recruiting - Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Memorial Day is an annual holiday celebrated throughout the United States in remembrance of those who have died in service in the United States military. The holiday originated from honoring the dead from the Civil War, however later on was expanded to encompass all fallen soldiers. It was first recognized by New York in 1873, and eventually spread throughout the country. Now it is a federal holiday observed on the last Monday each May, allowing for an annual three day weekend that everyone looks forward to.

This Monday, May 26th, many Americans will visit cemeteries and memorials to honor those who have died in the American Armed Forces. Memorial Day, formerly known as Decoration Day, is also a day when families and individuals decorate graves and cemeteries with American flags.

For many Americans, Memorial Day also marks the beginning of the summer season. Many celebrate the holiday by taking short vacations, having barbeques, picnics, and family gatherings. Also, many pools and other outdoor spaces will open up this weekend.

Some activities occurring around Boston this Memorial Day weekend include:

View the Military Heroes Garden of Flags at the Boston Common

Every year flags are planted in front of the Soldiers and Sailors monument located at the Boston Common to commemorate those who gave their lives serving our country. For more information visit: http://www.massmilitaryheroes.org/our-work/community-building-events/public-program-events/memorial-day-flag-garden-planting/

Free Museum Admission

Museum of Fine Arts: The MFA is offering free admission to all visitors on Monday, May 29th from 10am to 4:45pm!

Institute of Contemporary Art: The ICA is also offering free admission from 10am to 5pm on Memorial Day, Monday May 29th.

Shop Memorial Day Sales


Memorial Day weekend is the perfect time to go shopping, as many places put on special sales or promotions in honor of the weekend. Check out the Prudential Center and Copley Square for upscale stores and boutiques, or the Wretham Outlets and Assembly Row for even bigger savings!

In addition to these, you can always go sightseeing around Boston or go on a walking tour to enjoy the first unofficial weekend of summer.

Its Finally Summer: How to Get Out and Enjoy Boston

Global Immersions - Saturday, May 20, 2017


Now that the weather in Boston is finally warm, it's time to take advantage of the activities around Boston! Every year as the temperature warms up, people come out and crowd the streets to enjoy the city. Restaurants open up their outdoor seating, farmers markets start up, and events around the city begin to take place. Summer is the perfect time to enjoy the city and get out, and while the opportunities may seem overwhelming, here are some ideas of what you can do to enjoy the city throughout the summer!

Bike around Boston with Hubway


There is no better way to see the city than going for a walk, run, or riding a bike. You can ride a bike along the pathways next to the Charles, or anywhere throughout the city! Hubway allows riders to obtain a 24 hour pass for just $8! There are over 180 stations across Boston,  Brookline, Cambridge, and Somerville. All you have to do is just pick up a bike and return it to any station throughout the city once you are done!

Soak up some sun at Revere Beach


Revere beach is easily accessible on the T by taking the Blue Line out to Wonderland Station. As America's first public beach established in 1896, it is located right outside of Downtown Boston. Throughout the summer, there are several exciting events hosted here such as the Revere Beach Kite Festival and the Sand Sculpting Festival. Apart from the happenings, it is a nice place to enjoy some sun and catch some waves.

Enjoy a Lobster Roll and the Beaches at Castle Island


Castle Island is located in South Boston and can be identified by its beautiful 19th century granite fort located on the premises. Within the Island, one can relax on the green lawns, or enjoy one of the two beaches. The M Street beach and Carson Beach occupy a three miles stretch along the island and overlook Pleasure Bay. While you're there, don't forget to enjoy a lobster roll or burger from Sullivan's! The food is delicious and definitely worth trying.

Go to the Boston Harbor Islands


There are several Boston Harbor Islands that can be accessed through the Boston Harbor Cruises. These islands are a great escape from the city, especially on a beautiful summer day. There are four islands accessible by the ferry; George's Island, Spectacle Island, Peddocks Island, and Lovells Island. For $17 ($10 for children aged 3-11) you can explore these National State Parks which often have events scheduled throughout the summer. Taking the time to explore these islands is definitely worth your while, and will prove to be a pleasant change of scenery!

Go to a Red Sox Game or Tour Fenway Park!


 Summer is the perfect time to enjoy a nice Red Sox game outside! Sit in the bleacher seats (usually around ~$30) and soak up some sun while enjoying the game. If sitting in the sun and watching baseball isn't for you, then take a tour of  Fenway Park instead! The Fenway Park tours are $20 and occur everyday throughout the day beginning at 9am.

Explore the Arnold Arboretum


The Arnold Arboretum, located in Jamaica Plain near Forest Hills, is home to many species of trees and other flora. Spring and summer are the perfect times to visit the Arboretum as plants are in full bloom and it is a great time of the year to sit outside and soak up the nature. The arboretum is also home to several nature-oriented events that are worth checking out!

The Lawn on D


The Lawn on D is an installment on D street in South Boston. The attraction offers food and beverages, as well as various lawn games to its visitors. If you want to sit and hangout, there is also live music at night! Only open during the summer, it is definitely a great way to spend your afternoon or evening as it is open all day every day of the week. Also be sure to check out their special events, which occur fairly regularly throughout the summer.

Go shopping, enjoy a meal, and people watch on Newbury Street


Newbury Street is one of Boston's most scenic streets, filled with shops and many restaurants. If you're not into shopping, in the warmer months many of these restaurants open up their outdoor seating which makes for a great people watching experience.  Although there are countless options to choose from, some great eats with outdoor seating include Cafeteria, Tapeo, Sonsie, Stepahnie's, and Parish Cafe, to name a few.

Free Fun Fridays with the Highland Street Foundation


The Highland Street Foundation sponsors Free Fun Fridays throughout the summer in celebration of its 20th anniversary. This is within the greater Boston area as well as outside the city, and includes a free public attraction each Friday beginning June 23rd through August 25th. Check out the schedule and enjoy free admission to some of your favorite attractions around Boston. 

Enjoy a local farmers market


There are several farmers markets throughout Boston that run through the spring and summer. These are a great way to get some cheap produce as well as to check out some specialty food items from local vendors!

Union Square Farmers Market

Located in Somerville, the Union Square Farmers Market is open on Saturdays from 9:00AM – 1:00PM, and runs through November 18, 2017.

Dewey Square Farmers Market

The Boston Public Market runs the Dewey Square Farmers Market, located in the plaza right across from South Station.  It is open on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 11:30am to 6:30pm, and runs through November 21st.

Haymarket Farmers Market

The Haymarket Farmers is located right off of the Haymarket T stop on the Orange Line, right near Faneuil Hall in Downtown Boston. The market runs from dawn until dusk, with no official hours. Generally vendors are outside all day, weather permitting.  This market is only open on Fridays and Saturdays.

Copley Square Farmers Market

The Copley Square Farmers Market runs from 11am to 6pm on Tuesday and Friday through November 21st. It is located right off of the Green Line at the Copley T stop.

 Kayak in the Charles:


Charles River Kayak has five locations across the city, allowing you to start from wherever is closest to you. These include Allston, Kendall Square, Nahanton Park in Newton, the Moody Street Dam in Waltham, and Somerville. Starting at just $15 per hour, kayaking in the Charles allows you to escape some of the summer heat while enjoying a beautiful view of the city. Paddleboards and canoes are also available for rental.

Next time you need something to do this summer, check out any of the above options! There are also countless other special events occurring throughout the city in the coming months. For more information of special events, feel free to check out our Facebook page for daily updates and the latest happenings!

Labor Day and May Day

Global Immersions Recruiting - Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Celebrations on May 1 have long had two, seemingly contradictory meanings. When you think of May Day, I’m sure the first thing that comes to mind is spring, flowers, maypoles, and dancing. However, this date is also associated with worker solidarity and protests on Labor Day. It seems strange that May Day and Labor Day occur at the same time, but are so different in their traditions. How did these two holidays come to share a date? It happened pretty much by accident. The origins of Labor Day date back to May Day 1886, when over 200,000 U.S. workers engineered a nationwide strike for an eight-hour work day. This strike was part of what became known as the Haymarket Affair – a strike at the McCormick Reaper plant in Chicago that turned violent, followed by an even more violent meeting at Haymarket Square the next day. In 1889 the International Socialist Conference declared that in commemoration of the Haymarket affair, May 1 would be an international holiday of Labor, now known in many places as International Workers Day. The U.S. observes its official Labor Day in September, but many countries hold Labor Day celebrations in the beginning of May. Here are snapshots of some Labor Day and May Day  activities around the world:

 


Havana, Cuba

Public Health workers march through Havana’s Revolution Square during the May Day Parade, May 1, 2014.


Malaga, Spain

Workers and union members hold banners and flags of the General Workers Union and Comisiones Obreras at Marques de Larios street during a May Day demonstration on Labor Day. The banner reads, "Without quality employment, there is no recovery. More social cohesion for more democracy".


Harz, Germany

A man wearing devil make – up looks of an HSB light railway carriage as he travels through the Harz Mountains to celebrate the Walpurgisnacht pagan festival, April 30th, 2014. Legend has it that on Walpurgisnacht or May Eve, witches fly their broomsticks to meet the devil at the summit of the Brocken Mountain in Harz. In towns and villages scattered throughout the mountain region, locals make bonfires, dress in devil or witches costumes and dance into the new month of May.


Jakarta, Indonesia

Indonesian workers face a line of police during a rally outside the presidential palace in Jakarta to mark May Day, also known as Labor Day, May 1, 2014. Unions said up to two million workers would be out in force to demand better working conditions in Southeast Asia's most populous nation, although in previous years the numbers have come in much lower than such forecasts.


Paris, France

Hundreds of supporters of France's far-right National Front political party attend the party's annual May Day rally in front of the Opera in Paris, May 1, 2014

Source: CBS

Happy Earth Day!

Global Immersions Recruiting - Friday, April 21, 2017


Earth Day this year is April 22nd (this Saturday!)

Earth Day is an annual event created to celebrate the planet's environment and raise public awareness about pollution. The day is observed worldwide with rallies, conferences, outdoor activities and service projects.

History:

The first Earth Day was in 1970 , when U.S. Senator Gaylord Nelson organized a national "teach-in" to educate the population about the environment after the massive oil spill in Santa Barbara, California in 1968.

In 1995, President Bill Clinton awarded Senator Nelson the Presidential Medal of Freedom for being the founder of Earth Day. This is the highest honor given to civilians in the United States.

Earth Day Today:

Today, more than 1 billion people across the globe participate in Earth Day activities. 

In 1990, 200 million people in 141 countries participated Earth Day, giving the event international recognition. For the 40th anniversary of Earth Day in 2010, 225,000 people participated in a climate rally at the national Mall in Washington, D.C. The Earth Day network launched a campaign to plant 1 billion trees, which they then achieved in 2012.


Last year on Earth Day, the Secretary General of the United Nations urged world leaders to sign the Paris Climate Agreement - a treaty aimed at keeping planet warming below 2 degrees Celcius (or 3.5 degrees Fahrenheit). U.S. President Barack Obama signed the treaty that day.

The Impact of Earth Day:

Though Earth Day is widely observed, the environment is still suffering. A recent Gallup Poll shows that 42% of Americans believe that the dangers of climate change are exaggerated, and only less than 50% agree that protection of the environment should be given priority over energy production.


However, Earth Day is still significant because it reminds people to think about the importance of the environment, the threats the planet faces and ways to help combat these threats. Every year on Earth day individuals and corporations alike take proactive measures to reduce their carbon foot print- by planting trees, reaching a recycling goal, reducing their energy output,  switching to renewable products, and participating in other "green" activities! 

Source: LiveScience

The Japanese Vending Machine Experience

Global Immersions Recruiting - Tuesday, April 18, 2017
Japan's vending machines are a unique aspect of Japanese culture. Japanese vending machines are unlike the vending machines that you see in schools and offices in the United States. Japanese vending machines go beyond selling your average snacks and sodas. In Japan you can find items such as hot coffee, noodle stew, or even beer and Buddhist charms. 

Vending machines inside a subway station

There is one vending machine for every 25 people in Japan. In 2015, Japanese vending machines generate more than $42 billion dollars in sales. The challenge for Japanese drinks company, Dydo Drinco, (who rivals brands like Coca Cola and generates more than 80% of its revenue from vending machine sales) is trying to stay popular in a market saturated with 24 hour convenience stores and other competition.


Vending machine selling hot meals 

In order to attract new customers Dydo Drinco has been developing ways to make vending machines "more fun". The company has previously introduced machines that can talk to customers and also offer the chance to win a bonus drink through a "roulette" game. Dydo also invented app through which users can collect points that count toward prizes. The app is linked to Line (the country's most popular messaging app) and features games like "Final Fantasy" and "Dragon's Quest". However, these apps won't help to attract foreign visitors, as Dryco was initially hoping, as they are only available in Japanese. 


A Dydo Drinco vending machine app 

Another idea of the company was to allow customers to pre-order from the machines during their morning commute or lunch rush via Smart phone. This idea is still in the works but Japan can expect to see more ideas being developed by Dydo in the future, many of them linking vending machines to smart phones to create a distinct interactive experience.  

Vending machines lining the streets of Japan

Source

The 2017 Boston Marathon

Global Immersions Recruiting - Tuesday, April 04, 2017



What: 121st Boston Marathon

When: Monday, April 17th

Where: Hopkinton – Boston, MA. (The finish line is at 665 Boylston Street)

Time: 8:30 am – 5:30 pm (The winners usually finish within two hours)

Schedule:

DIVISION START TIME
Mobility Impaired 8:50 a.m.
Men's Push-Rim Wheelchair 9:17 a.m.
Women's Push-Rim Wheelchair 9:19 a.m.
Handcycles & Duos 9:22 a.m.
Elite Women 9:32 a.m.
Elite Men & Wave One 10:00 a.m.
Wave Two 10:25 a.m.
Wave Three 10:50 a.m.
Wave Four 11:15 a.m.

History: 

After experiencing the spirit and majesty of the Olympic Marathon, B.A.A. member and inaugural US Olympic Team Manager John Graham was inspired to organize and conduct a marathon in the Boston area. With the assistance of Boston businessman Herbert H. Holton, various routes were considered, before a measured distance of 24.5 miles from Metcalf’s Mill in Ashland to the Irvington Oval in Boston was eventually selected. On April 19, 1897, John J. McDermott of New York, emerged from a 15-member starting field and captured the first B.A.A. Marathon in 2:55:10, and, in the process, forever secured his name in sports history.

In 1924, the course was lengthened to 26 miles, 385 yards to conform to the Olympic standard, and the starting line was moved west from Ashland to Hopkinton.


Why patriots Day? From 1897-1968, the Boston Marathon was held on Patriots’ Day, April 19, a holiday commemorating the start of the Revolutionary War and recognized only in Massachusetts and Maine. The lone exception was when the 19th fell on Sunday. In those years, the race was held the following day (Monday the 20th). However, in 1969, the holiday was officially moved to the third Monday in April. Since 1969 the race has been held on a Monday. The last non-Monday champion was current Runner’s World editor Amby Burfoot, who posted a time of 2:22:17 on Friday, April 19, 1968.



Important Spectator Information:

Where are the best places to watch? There is ample space every mile from Hopkinton to Boston for fans to gather and cheer on your journey to Boylston Street. Some of the most famous spots are the Wellesley Scream Tunnel just before halfway; Heartbreak Hill in Newton around Boston College; and the final stretch on Boylston Street before the finish.

Be aware that if you are watching the Boston Marathon anywhere along the 26.2-mile course you should expect a significant presence of uniformed and plain clothed police officers. In some areas, you may be asked to pass through security checkpoints. The marathon website has a full list of items that are not allowed in the race are. 

Spring Festivals Around the World

Global Immersions Recruiting - Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Don’t let the cold weather and remaining piles of snow on the ground fool you, today is the first day of Spring! Spring is welcomed in different ways across the globe. For many in the United States, the Spring season is marked by St. Patty’s celebrations in late March and Easter festivities in April. Other cultures have their own unique ways of celebrating Springtime, here are a few festivals that occur around the world this season!

Thailand

Beginning in mid-April, Thailand’s three-day Songkran Festival is one of the most popular celebrations in the country. The Songkran Festival corresponds with the Tai New Year, so Thai’s use this time to clean, reflect, pay respects to neighbors…and engage in a full on, intense, water war with each other in the streets. During the festival, children, as well as adults, ride around on the backs of trucks and motorcycles targeting passersby with water balloons and squirt guns. Songkran occurs during the hot season in Thailand so the festival is a great way to cool off.

Japan

Cherry Blossoms are a symbol of Spring in Japan. Every spring Japanese gather for picnics under the cherry blossom trees as one of the country’s oldest traditions. The cherry blossoms arrive suddenly and only for a limited amount of time. Cherry blossom season reaches different parts of the country at different times so predicting their arrival has become part of Japanese pop culture (there is even an app to help) When the trees are fully in bloom with little cherry blossoms the Japanese head outside for picnics and parties. These gatherings are full of Japanese food, drink, and mingling with other picnickers under the trees.

India

The Hindu festival of Holi celebrates the end of Winter and the start of Spring. You may recognize Holi from photos of participants covered in chalk surrounded by clouds of colors. The night before the festival, people light bonfires to celebrate the triumph of good over evil. Ash from these bonfires is considered sacred and many people will wipe some on their forehead for extra protection against evil spirits. On the day of Holi, businesses shut down and everyone is gathered in the streets. Indians throw colored water and powder on each other until they are covered head to toe in color. After there are feasts of Indian foods and desserts.

Bulgaria

On March 1st, the Baba Marta festival in Bulgaria commemorates the arrival of Spring. On this day, people give each other woven red and white figures which they are to wear until they see the first bus or birds of spring. After, participants tie their figures to trees in recognition of the new spring season. The holiday celebrates “Baba Marta” (Granny March) a character in Bulgarian folk tales whose arrival brings about the end of winter. Legends say that the final snow of the season is Baba Marta shaking out her feather bed during Spring cleaning. 

Source

The Real History of St. Patrick's Day

Global Immersions Recruiting - Tuesday, March 14, 2017

This Saint Patrick’s Day will be marked with green clothes, shamrocks, lucky charms, and gold coins. Surprisingly, these classic icons were not always symbols of the holiday.

 St. Patrick’s Day is celebrated annually on March 17th to commemorate the death of St. Patrick, the patron Saint of Ireland. The holiday, which began as a religious feast in the 17th century, has since evolved into an array of festivals across the globe, featuring music, dancing, and (of course) a whole lot of green!

As it turns out, St. Patrick wasn’t actually even Irish. He was born in Roman Britain and at the age of 16, was kidnapped by Irish raiders and brought to Ireland as a slave.  He later escaped, but then returned to Ireland and is credited with bringing Christianity to its people. After his death, St. Patrick was pretty much forgotten until various myths surrounding his life were brought to the surface and became ingrained in Irish culture. It was only centuries after his death that he was honored as the country’s patron Saint.

What are some myths regarding St. Patrick? First, he never drove the snakes out of Ireland. Ireland never had any snakes and this myth is just a metaphor for how St. Patrick cleansed Ireland of Pagans. It is said that St. Patrick used a clover to explain the holy trinity to the Irish people, which is why many Irish started to wear shamrocks on their clothing to signify Irish Christian Pride. This tradition later evolved into wearing green on St. Patty’s Day.

You may also be surprised to learn that the tradition of having parades on St. Patrick’s Day originated in the U.S. and not in Ireland. Parades began in the U.S. after many Irish immigrated there during the time of the Irish potato famine. Boston is home to the nation’s longest-running St. Patrick’s Day Parade, beginning in 1737. The second oldest, and currently the largest, parade takes place in New York City, which held its first parade in 1762. It is estimated over 2 million spectators attend the NYC parade each year.

How will you spend your St. Patrick’s Day? Don’t miss the South Boston St. Patrick’s Day parade this Sunday, March 19th! The parade begins at 1:00 pm at the Broadway MBTA stop and continues for over 3 miles to Andrew Square. You can find various events happening this St. Patrick’s Day weekend here


Happy St. Patrick’s Day! Erin Go Bragh!