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Office Closed -- Happy Holidays!15-Dec-2017

Happy Holidays from Global Immersions Homestay! We wish you and your family a safe and healthy h..

Welcome to Boston - Japanese Christmas High School Group!11-Dec-2017

A large group of high school visitors from Niijima Gakuen High School (https://niijima-gakuen.jp..


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The Story of Hanukkah

Global Immersions Recruiting - Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Hanukkah, also known as the Festival of Lights, is a centuries-old Jewish celebration that commemorates the rededication of the holy Temple in Jerusalem. As legend goes, in 166 BC, the Jewish people rose against their Greek-Syrian oppressors in the Maccabean Revolt. First led by father and priest, Mattathias Maccabee, and then by his son, Judah, the rebellion lasted for well over two years, and ended in what is considered the 'miracle' of light.

The Greek-Syrian oppressors had desecrated the holy Temple in Jerusalem by erecting a statue of Zeus and sacrificing pigs upon its altar. Their leader, Antiochus, gave the Jewish people an ultimatum: conversion or death. Though outnumbered, Judah Maccabee and his followers won two important battles, virtually ridding the city of the Greek-Syrian oppressors.

At the end of the Maccabean Revolt, Judah called upon his followers to cleanse the Temple, rebuild its original altar, and light its menorah. To everyone's dismay, there was only enough untainted oil to keep the menorah lit for a single day. The flames, however, continued to flicker for eight nights, allowing the Jewish people enough time to find a fresh supply of oil. This miracle inspired the annual eight-day festival of lights, Hanukkah, which means 'dedication' in Hebrew, and reminds Jews today to rededicate themselves to the Jewish religion, culture, and people.

Today, the celebration of Hanukkah revolves around lighting the menorah, eating foods cooked in oil (such as latkes and jam-filled donuts), playing with toy dreidels, and spending time with family. Though it is not considered a Jewish "high holiday", in which restrictions are placed on school, work, or other activities,  Hanukkah has seen an explosion of commercial attention, as it usually lands near Christmas. This year, Hanukkah began on Tuesday, December 12, and will go through Wednesday, December 20.

Happy Hanukkah to all!

Sources: History and RJ

A Boston Holiday Season

Global Immersions Recruiting - Wednesday, December 06, 2017

As many of you know, the start of December is the official kick off for the Winter holiday season, and Boston is as charming a city as they come this time of year. If you're looking for fun things to do this month, then look no further because we've compiled a list of the best activities this season.

Light shows:

Greenway Carousel: From December 1, 2017 through January 1, 2018, head over to the Greenway Carousel to take a spin against the backdrop of bright, festive light shows and favorite holiday tunes. Beginning at 4:45pm and running until close, these light shows are sure to brighten up a cold winter's evening.

Somerville Illumination Trolley Tours: Several homes in Somerville go all out with their holiday decorations, and the Somerville Arts Council created a trolley tour to shuttle interested parties from house to house to check them out. Tour is Saturday, December 16, from 4:30pm to 10:00pm. 

ZooLights, Stoneham: Every year, the Stoneham Stone Zoo puts on a dazzling holiday light show from 5:00pm to 9:00pm each evening through December 31. This spectacular display is in addition to wonderful holiday-themed decorations added to many animal enclosures.

The Lynn Fells Parkway, Saugus: For over 60 years, families pile into their cars for a slow drive down the Lynn Fells Parkway on the North Shore. Most residents on this mile-long stretch of road gave up counting the number of bulbs on their property, though their estimates are in the thousands.

Blink! Faneuil Hall: Holiday shoppers around the Faneuil Hall area have been able to enjoy an audiovisual show called Blink!, where 350,000 LED lights dance to the music of the Holiday Pops. The spectacle lasts about 7 minutes, but plays throughout the night from 4:30pm to 9:30pm until January 1.

La Salette Shrine: For over 60 years, La Salette Shrine in Attleboro has amazed visitors with displays of over 300,000 lights spread across 10 acres. There is also an international crèche museum with more than 1,000 crèches. Open daily from 5:00pm to 9:00pm though January 1.

Your OWN! If you can, take your visitor along for a drive around the neighborhood to see all of the holiday decorations near your home! And for a more comprehensive list of the best light shows around Boston, follow this link!

More holiday activities:


December can be a brutally cold month, and you won't always want to enjoy the holiday cheer outdoors. Instead, perhaps purchasing tickets to Boston Ballet: The Nutcracker, or the Holiday Pops show, or to Black Nativity, or to the Disney on Ice: Dream Big tour will fill you with the holiday spirit while keeping your hands and toes warm. Either way, any of these shows will prove to be quite fun. The Nutcracker and the Holiday Pops show run through December 31, Black Nativity will run through December 17, and the Disney on Ice tour will be here until January 1!

Another fun way to get into the holiday spirit is on the Northern Lights Boston Harbor cruise. There are three different holiday cruises this year: the Irish Christmas Carols Cruise, the Holiday Jazz Cruise, and the Cocoa & Carols Holiday Cruise, all featuring live music, holiday decor, and delicious beverages. Take your pick of these cheerful holiday cruises!


If you're downtown completing your holiday shopping, you should also check out the different ice skating opportunities! Frog Pond is an age-old favorite for many Bostonians. Bring your own or rent some skates and twirl on the rink surrounded by holiday lights covering Boston Common's trees. The city's newest skating venue is right in City Hall Plaza for Boston's Winter Wonderland. Open 7 days a week, Boston Winter offers a skating opportunity as well as an outdoor holiday shopping market!

Love to ski or snowboard? Nashoba Valley Ski Area is only 45 minutes away from Boston and has a lovely relaxed environment. The Blue Hills in Canton, MA is a family-oriented, good-for-learners mountain, and Pats Peak is another mountain in Southern New Hampshire that has lots of ski/snowboard instructors on site and homemade food in the cafeteria. If you'd like a longer list of nearby skiing and snowboarding opportunities, follow this link!

If you're interested in Boston's history, then come out to the 244th Boston Tea Party Reenactment. On December 16, 6:30pm, meet at the Old South Meeting House near State Street to join more than 100 volunteer reenactors, including Samuel Adams, Paul Revere, and John Hancock. The procession will gather at the Old South Meeting House for a debate and proceed with fifes and drums in tow to Griffin's Wharf to dump a load of tea in the Boston Harbor. Rain or shine, it should be a sight to see!


Last and certainly not least, welcome in the New Year at First Night 2018! Join the million or so people who come to celebrate the New Year in Boston at this huge city-wide event. There will be entertainers, food, performances, a parade, fireworks, and ice sculptures. Be sure to bundle up and head into the city on December 31 for some great eats and even better experiences!

Common Misspellings in the English Language

Global Immersions Recruiting - Wednesday, November 29, 2017

For those who are learning English as a second language, I'm sure you know that English is one difficult language to master. We understand that. In all honesty, English can be tricky even for native speakers. Just take, for example, the most misspelled words by each state in America. Strangely (or not-so-strangely), Wisconsinites tend to have an issue spelling Wisconsin. Go figure.

If you're from Massachusetts, apparently you might have had some trouble spelling "license" - does the 's' come before the 'c', is there even a 'c' to begin with? Hard to know sometimes. Google compiled a list of the most misspelled words by each state, and the results are very interesting! Here are a few of our favorites:

State

Misspelled Word

Alaska

Schedule

Florida

Receipt

Illinois

Appreciate

Mississippi

Nanny

Tennessee

Chaos

Wisconsin

Wisconsin

To check out the results for the rest of the states, follow this link.

According to Oxford English Corpus, an electronic compilation of over 2 billion English words, the list of the most misspelled English words is far greater and more complex than "schedule" and "chaos". Words like "gist" make the list because, yes, it is spelled with a 'g', and not with a 'j' - even though it's pronounced [jist]. *Palms face*. English can be quite the confounding language. Based on the Oxford list of most misspelled words, we chose a few to share with you:

Correct Spelling

Common Misspelling

Achieve

Acheive

Bizarre

Bizzare

Calendar

Calender

Definitely

Definately

Foreign

Foriegn

Forward

Foward

Happened

Happend

Independent

Independant

Knowledge

Knowlege

Publicly

Publically

Tongue

Tounge

To check out the full list, follow this link!

Learning a new language, especially one as complex and confusing as English, is tough work, and we applaud all of you that are attempting to master it!

Thanksgiving: Then and Now

Global Immersions Recruiting - Tuesday, November 21, 2017

In 1620 the Mayflower, a small ship carrying 102 passengers landed in Plymouth. They journeyed across the ocean seeking religious freedom and prosperity. Their first winter in Massachusetts was brutal and many of the original passengers and crew died before they could see the spring. They were greeted by the indigenous people who taught them how to survive in their new environment. They were taught to cultivate the land and how to live off of the land. In the fall of 1621, their successful harvest prompted a celebratory feast and select Native Americans were invited. This is considered to be America’s first Thanksgiving. 

As time passed, more days of thanks were called upon to celebrate the end of droughts and wars. These thanksgivings were held on various days and locations, depending upon what was being celebrated. New York was the first state to adopt an annual Thanksgiving holiday. Other states followed, but celebrated on different days. In 1863 President Abraham Lincoln initiated the country’s annual Thanksgiving holiday to be the fourth week in November. In 1939 President Franklin D. Roosevelt moved the holiday up one week to increase retail sales during the Great Depression. Due to the backlash, in 1941 Roosevelt returned Thanksgiving to its prior date. 

Table are cluttered on Thanksgiving with a variety of dishes. The foods eaten on Thanksgiving are dependent upon the background and traditions of the family as well as the region they reside. The stereotypical Thanksgiving dish for, turkey may not have been eaten at the first Thanksgiving. They are prepared in numerous ways, including roasting, baking and deep-frying. Main dishes of ham, roast beef and lobster are seen. Perhaps the most creative main, turducken is a chicken stuffed inside of a duck, which is stuffed into a turkey. Some regions have specialty dishes. Cranberries can be seen in different forms. About twenty percent of cranberries are eaten during Thanksgiving week. Creamed onions are not seen outside of New England and macaroni and cheese is primarily offered in the South. Perhaps there is something more American than apple pie. Different pies are popular in different regions on Thanksgiving. While New England and the Mid-Atlantic states love their apple pie, the South has pecan and sweet potato pie and the Midwest, and West are known to have cherry pie. 

Although food is the focus on Thanksgiving, it is not the only aspect of the holiday. Parades have become an integral part of the holiday. Since 1924, the annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade has been entertaining millions in New York City and more watching on television from the comfort of their own home. The parade route travels through Manhattan with floats and balloons, marching bands, Broadway performances, celebrity appearances.The finally of the parade is Santa Claus, the symbol the Christmas season has begun. 

Other spectator events include football. The National Football League presents professional games, but community’s gather for high school games. These games are traditionally rivalry games and build a sense of camaraderie within the towns. And if that isn’t enough football, some families will have backyard touch football games.

To counter the large meal, many people participate in Turkey Trots. Turkey Trots are a road running event which are held in numerous towns and cities on Thanksgiving morning. The distances and number of participants vary. These types of events are often fundraisers for local charities.

Each year one or two lucky turkeys are awarded a presidential pardon. These birds are spared from being slaughtered and are sent to a farm for retirement. John F. Kennedy is reported to be the first president to pardon a turkey, but earlier presidents have been rumored to do so. In 1989, George H. W. Bush made the annual turkey pardon a permanent tradition.

Thanksgiving has since lost its original significance. Rather than a harvest festival, it now centers on cooking and sharing a feast with family and friends. While celebrated by most, it is protested by some. Since 1970, protesters have gathered at Cole’s Hill in Plymouth, MA on Thanksgiving Day to commemorate the National Day of Mourning. For some, Thanksgiving serves as a reminder of the Native American suffering as a result of European settlers. This day honors ancestors and recognizes the hardships faced by the Native American people. Similar events are held throughout the country. 

Thanksgiving Fun Around Boston!

Global Immersions Recruiting - Thursday, November 16, 2017


November marks the beginning of the holiday season, as friends and family flock home for the familiar comforts.The days may be getting shorter, but this doesn’t limit what’s happening around town. Thanksgiving is less than one week away and there is plenty to do before and during and after the holiday!

In anticipation of Thanksgiving, thousands of people flock to the site of the first Thanksgiving in American history: Plymouth. America's Hometown Thanksgiving in Plymouth is November 17-19.  The weekend of festivities has become a beloved holiday occasion as well as an important link to our nation’s history and heritage. The celebration of Thanksgiving becomes history-brought-to-life as Pilgrims, Native Americans, Soldiers, Patriots, and Pioneers proudly climb out of the history books and onto the streets of Plymouth. A historic parade, New England food festival, reenactments, patriotic concerts and more will take place.


Thanksgiving traditions vary from family to family. This could be gathering together to watch the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, the National Dog Show or “A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving”. Watching football is another Thanksgiving tradition shared by many families. In addition to the various games being played by the NFL, local high school games are played on Thanksgiving Day, and there is no shortage of energy because usually these games are played against rival teams. Attending one of these games is a great way to feel involved in the community. 

For those who want to work off all of the calories before Thanksgiving dinner get out and run and/or walk on November 23 morning at the following Thanksgiving races: Franklin Park Turkey Trot 5KBrighton - Boston Volvo Village for MS 5K; SalemWild Turkey 5-Mile Run; Somerville Gobble Gobble Gobble

Thanksgiving weekend offers a variety of activities to get out and work off all of the Thanksgiving goodies! A return of the Boston Winter at City Hall Plaza on November 24 - December 31, 2017.  City Hall Plaza is turned into an ice skating rink and an outdoor shopping experience with 85 vendors offering a variety of local and international gifts and more! Head to Faneuil Hall on November 25th for the 32nd Annual Boston Tuba Christmas. An estimated 150-200 tuba players will entertain the crowd outdoors with favorite holiday classics. 

Make sure to also put on your calendar all of the tree lighting events around Boston coming in late November and early December. 


The Story Behind Boston's Christmas Tree

Global Immersions Recruiting - Wednesday, November 08, 2017

Last week the city of Boston was notified by our northern friends in Nova Scotia, Canada that the annual Christmas tree gift was chosen! Every year the city of Boston is rewarded a giant tree as a thank you for services provided a century ago.

Exactly 100 years ago, on December 6th, 1917, the Halifax Explosion killed 2,000 people and injured upwards of 9,000 in the Nova Scotia province. A French cargo ship, the Mont Blanc, was preparing to head overseas to fight in World War I when it found itself in some trouble. The Mont Blanc collided with a Norwegian ship in the Halifax harbor and caught fire.

The ship was laden with high-powered explosives that were meant for battle in the war. Shortly after the fire began on the Mont Blanc, however, so too did her munitions. Many people believe this was the largest man-made explosion in the world prior to the development of atomic bombs.

Over 1,000 people were instantly killed, while entire neighborhoods in the Richmond district were demolished. When word reached the Massachusetts governor, he immediately dispatched a relief train filled with doctors, Red Cross nurses, and medical supplies. Once in Halifax, the aid workers handed out food and water, set up hospitals, and built shelters to treat the thousands of injured bodies and spirits.

During the weeks leading up to Christmas, the first aid responders took it upon themselves to become Santa's elves by setting up trees and decorating best they could amidst the ruin. They tried to keep Halifax's spirit up during such a devastating time. The following year, Nova Scotia sent Bostonians a Christmas tree in thanks and remembrance for their aid after the explosion.

The gift was revived again in 1971 when the Lunenburg County began an annual donation of a large Christmas tree to Boston in remembrance of the Halifax Explosion. This act was later taken over by the Nova Scotian Government to continue spreading the goodwill and holiday cheer.

This year the tree lighting ceremony will be held on November 30 from 5:00 - 6:00pm on Boston Common. Be sure to head downtown in your layers to see the spectacular tree in all its glory.

International Food Markets

Global Immersions Recruiting - Wednesday, November 01, 2017

One thing Boston is known for is its international population. People from around the world come to Boston for higher education, to see historic sites, to catch a sports game, or just to start anew. With such an influx of international visitors, students, and immigrants, the availability of international foods has also risen. Across the Greater Boston region, international markets have popped up, and we're excited to share with you some of the local favorites:

Asian Markets:


Super 88 Market

With two locations, one near Boston University in Allston and one in Malden, this supermarket offers a wide range of Asian groceries, including produce, meats, spices, sauces, and everything in between. There's even a food court where you can enjoy some sushi or pho at your own leisure.

Location: 1095 Commonwealth Ave, Allston & 188 Commercial Street, Malden

HMart

Located on Massachusetts Ave in Cambridge, HMart is another Asian food superstore. From ready-to-serve, to Kimchi, to snacks, to household items, HMart is your one-time stop for any Asian food you are looking for.

Location: 581 Massachusetts Ave, Cambridge

Ebisuya Japanese Market

If you're looking for superbly fresh sushi made right in front of you while you shop for all your pantry necessities, then you should absolutely make a stop at Ebisuya. This market is located right in Medford, and has all your Japanese cooking essentials.

Location: 65 Riverside Ave, Medford

Indian Markets:


Taj Mahal Desi Bazaar

This market may be small, but it has much to offer. With a butcher on site, the Halal meat selection is incredibly fresh and the variety of seasonings and grains are plentiful for a good price. Be sure to stop by if you're planning a traditional Indian meal.

Location: 274 Broadway, Somerville

Foodland Market

Located in Cambridge, this market also has an in-shop butcher and fresh produce and spices. A local favorite, be sure to check it out!

Location: 2234 Massachusetts Ave, Cambridge

African Markets:


Kaba African Market

If you're looking for African foods and spices, or natural body products, or handmade items for your home, this is a great market with knowledgeable staff right in the heart of Boston.

Location: 29 Roxbury Street, Roxbury

Merkato African Market

Specializing in Ethiopian products, this wonderful little store stocks its shelves with plenty of spices, fresh njera, and hard to find items. This shop is sure to please both mind and body!

Location: 1127 Harrison Ave, Roxbury

Middle Eastern Markets:


Hamdi Halal Market

If you're looking for high quality Halal meats at a reasonable price, this is your go to place. With a wide variety of foods and pleasant service, you will have a fabulous experience.

Location: 1433 Tremont Street, Boston

Sevan Bakery

When you visit this little store, you will discover that it is more than just a bakery. With an amazing selection of imported foods from Armenia and the Middle East, you will surely not be disappointed. Be sure to taste some of the Armenian and Middle Eastern food prepared fresh in the kitchen every day.

Location: 599 Mount Auburn Street, Watertown

Arax Market

This shop is a small Armenian grocery store that also boasts products from Turkey, Greece, and the Middle East. A local favorite, everyone recommends the olive bar and the baklava. Check it out!

Location: 585 Mount Auburn Street, Watertown

Eastern Lamejun Bakers

This little store offers a wide variety of imported gourmet essentials, including Armenian appetizers, every spice you can think of, snacking goodies, and loads of the best dips you can find. Don't forget to try their stuffed grape leaves!

Location: 145 Belmont Street, Belmont

Russian & Eastern European Markets:


Berezka International Food Store

In business for over 30 years, this Russian grocery has expanded to include more than just food. Beyond the fresh foods and imported Russian spices, they now have a department entirely focused on natural remedies. There you can find all sorts of high quality natural herbs, teas, and tinctures. Be sure to check this store out!

Location: 1215 Commonwealth Ave, Boston

Babushka Deli

This special little spot is a gem for those who find it. From kosher goodies to Greek spreads, this one of  a kind store has the Eastern European product you have been looking for. Go in with an open mind, and your day will surely be made.

Location: 62 Washington Street, Brighton

Latin American & Caribbean Markets:


Tropical Foods

This supermarket is known as the store with "the best of both worlds". Not only does it function as a regular grocery store (selling milk, eggs, veggies, etc.), it also provides ethnic products, such as special produce, curries, rice, beans, and unique/hard-to-find specialties from the Caribbean, Central/Latin America, and Africa.

Location: 450 Melnea Cass Blvd, Boston

La Internacional Food Corporation

This is a must-go for your Central and Latin American food shopping needs. Their selection of spices, cheeses, beans, and more are extraordinary. Known as a friendly and well-stocked store, this is a great local market to do some of your ethnic shopping at.

Location: 318 Somerville Ave, Somerville

Mineirao One Stop Mart

This little shop lives up to its name! With a restaurant/butcher in back, and a stocked grocery store in front, you are sure to find everything you may need. Traditional Brazilian products and brands line the shelves of this store, and all at an affordable price!

Location: 57 Union Sq, Somerville

These are just a few of many, many international food markets in the Greater Boston/Boston area. Be sure to do some of your own research and pop in to the next local market that you see!

Explore Boston: Somerville!

Global Immersions Recruiting - Wednesday, October 25, 2017

As one of the most historic cities in the country, Boston has a lot to offer for both short-term visitors and the locals. The city in itself feels more like a giant town than a bustling metropolis like New York, which lends to much of the city's picturesque appeal. That same charm is mirrored in neighboring cities such as Cambridge and, more recently, Somerville.

Somerville was founded in the mid-19th century, and has flourished in the last 175 years gaining fame for being one of the 'best-run' cities in Massachusetts. The little city that sits between Cambridge and Medford has become one of the hottest places to live as of late - especially for young professionals. This is mainly due to the MBTA Red Line that runs through Cambridge and into Somerville, creating an ease of access to all that the city has to offer.

And there's a lot for Somerville to boast about! From quaint, fun little town centers, to big shopping experiences, to old factory and museum tours, the list runs long for 'Things To Do' in this city. Over the last few decades, Davis and Union Square has spearheaded the revitalization of retail, dining, and nightlife in Somerville. You can find comedy clubs, exquisite eateries and cute boutiques all within four-block spans.

If you are looking for a typical day of shopping, exercise, and/or dining, then Assembly Row is your go-to spot. From premium retail outlet stores, to restaurants galore, to a 12-screen movie theater, and even residential and office spaces, the Assembly Row development has literally everything your heart may desire - besides, perhaps, true love.

If you need more proof that Somerville is one cool city, then here it is: Somerville is the home of marshmallow Fluff. Yes, you read that correctly. Fluff was invented in Somerville, and there's even a festival to commemorate it. If the history of Fluff doesn't get you moving to check out Somerville, then one of the other 80 sites listed on the National Register of Historic Places might!

All in all, Somerville is home to some of the greatest restaurants, shops, museums, art studios, and more! It's no wonder Lonely Planet named it one of the top 10 US travel destinations in 2017. Get out there!

Halloween Happenings!

Global Immersions Recruiting - Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Halloween is one of the best celebrated holidays in the Boston area due, naturally, to the amount of ghosts that roam our streets. From witch trials, to hangings, to some of the oldest graveyards in the country, Boston's history ensures that old lonely spirits are due to walk the streets on October 31st.

Just kidding. Maybe.

If you're a lover of all things spooky, get ready for some good Halloween fun in and around the Boston area!

Hop on the Boston Ghosts and Gravestones Tour for a jaunt around town in an old trolley with a host that looks remarkably like a 17th century gravedigger... This tour takes you through the most historic parts of Boston, where you will make stops at two of the oldest graveyards in the country, and learn about some of the most gruesome murders in Boston's history.

Remember that the tour is half walking, so grab some comfortable shoes!

Price: $39.00

If you really want a fright, check out the Factory of Terror in Fall River, MA. With three locations - Bloodworth Dungeon, 4-D Blackout, and Phobia Mayhem - this will sure be one horrifying night. You'll come face to face with moaning spirits, tormented corpses, and gothic nightmares in this haunted Factory.

Price: $15

Want to learn more about Boston's spooky history? Take a walking tour with Boston By Foot for their Beacon Hill with a BOO! event. On October 31 at 6pm, the tour will set out to walk amongst the dark alleys of Beacon Hill, where you will learn of the Hill's dark and murderous legacy.

Price: $20

Lastly, and certainly not least, take a day trip out to Salem, MA - better known as the "Witch City" -  to check out all of the Halloween happenings! You can take a scheduled 7 hour tour from Boston via the Salem Witch City Day Trip, which will take you up to Marblehead, then to the House of the Seven Gables, and then into downtown Salem for a bus and walking tour of the historic city. The Salem Witch Museum ramp up their decorations and activities this month as well, so be sure to take a visit to the country's oldest witch museum! The Haunted Witch Village and the Salem Wax Museum put on a great display over the weekends gearing up to Halloween. A trip to the Wax Museum might also lead you to Frankenstein's Laboratory!

If you're looking for all things Halloween in Salem, follow this link to check out the extensive list of events, tours, and activities in the Witch City all month long!

Here is a list of Halloween happenings in the Boston area too!

Día de los Muertos

Global Immersions Recruiting - Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) is an ancient Mexican holiday whose celebration has now spread across Latin America and to parts of the United States. It is also one of the most misunderstood holidays to date. Since it takes place near Halloween, many people assume that Day of the Dead is a Mexican/Latin version of Halloween.


Dia de los Muertos was originally celebrated by the Aztecs at the end of August to signify the end of their harvest season. When the Spanish conquistadors brought Catholicism to Latin America, una mezcla (a combination) happened. With the Catholic tradition, came All Saints' and All Souls' Day in early November. Over time, Dia de los Muertos coincided with these Catholic holidays and is now celebrated on a similar two-day structure on November 1 and 2.

It is thought that at midnight on October 31, the gates to heaven open to allow the spirits of the dead to reunite with their loved ones for 24 hours. On the first day of Dia de los Muertos, November 1, families remember children who have passed away. On the second day, November 2, loved ones remember adults who have died. The central belief on Day of the Dead is not to mourn those who have passed, but to celebrate their lives. Families leave little toys and candy shaped as skulls for the children, and food, favorite possessions, and alcohol for the adults. Celebrations usually include live music and dancing from homes to graveyards, where families will gather around the graves of those who have passed.

Day of the Dead is an incredibly important holiday for Mexican and Latin people, as many believe that happy spirits will provide protection and good luck to their families. Sometimes people spend up to two months building ofrendas (homemade altars to leave offerings on) for their loved ones. This tradition keeps families and villages close - both with each other and with their deceased relatives.