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Ramadan Mubarak!16-May-2018

Ramadan begins today. "Ramadan Mubarak!" to all hosts and visitors who will be observing Ramadan..

Happy Mother's Day!13-May-2018

Happy Mother's Day to all of our wonderful host mothers! Thank you for all that you do for our ..


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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 "DzieƄ 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

Around the World in Easter Eggs

Global Immersions Recruiting - Friday, March 23, 2018

Easter, (a Christian religious holiday celebrating the resurrection of Jesus Christ) is right around the corner. Next Sunday, followers of the Christian religion will celebrate Easter by attending Church services, and attending parties or meals with family. Another Easter tradition observed by many Christian families around the world is decorating Easter eggs. Each country has its own way of decorating Easter Eggs, many of which reflect the history of that culture. Here is a look at Easter Eggs decorations around the globe.


Ukraine 

Ukrainian Easter eggs, or psyanky, are decorated with traditional Ukrainian folk designs using a wax-resist method to create intricate patterns. Historically, each region, village, and family had its own symbols, rituals, and meanings associated with the dying of each egg. Pysanky were typically created by the woman or mother of the house, and designed on raw or sometimes baked eggs, rather than boiled eggs. The eggs needed to be fertilized by a rooster, to symbolize the brining of fertility into the household. Pysanky were made to be given to family members and respected outsiders, such as priests.  They were often placed in the same area as farm animals to bring good fortune for the coming harvest. For example, a Pysanka might be placed in a cows manger to ensure a good milk supply, or placed near a bee hive to ensure a large production of honey.


Greece

In Greece, eggs are traditionally dyed a deep red for Easter. The origin behind this color stems from many myths, however the most common reason for the red dye is to symbolize the blood of Jesus Christ. On Easter Sunday, Greeks play a game of cracking their eggs , or "tsougrisma" in Greek, to symbolize the breaking open of Jesus' tomb and his resurrection. The game is played by two people each holding one egg and tapping them on top of one another. The goal of the game is to crack the other player's egg. The winner of the game is the one whose egg cracks both ends of the other players eggs.


Mexico

Cascarones are hollowed-out eggshells filled with confetti or small toys that are common throughout Mexico. While cascarones are most notably used in Mexico during the festival Carnival, they have become a popular Easter tradition in areas along the U.S. - Mexico border. Cascarones are created by breaking a hole in the top of an eggshell and then pouring the contents out. The shell is then cleaned, decorated, and dried before it is filled with confetti. The outside hole is then covered with glue or tissue paper. Having a cascaron broken over ones head is considered a sign of good luck, and the eggs are now often used in other ceremonies such as during Day of the Dead and at weddings.


Japan
Easter is not widely celebrated in Japan, as only 1% of the population is reported as practicing Christianity. However, those that do observe the religious holiday often create Easter eggs decorated with delicate origami paper, known in Japanese as "washi". The washi egg is created by first  removing the contents of the egg to hollow it out. Then, a rectangle of washi paper, large enough to cover the egg, is folded in half, and cut nearly to the middle every quarter inch to form a fringe of narrow strips. Each strip is trimmed to a point. The paper is unfolded, rolled around the egg, and glued on one strip at a time. After the egg is varnished.

Source: Brit.co

The Year of the Dog

Global Immersions Recruiting - Tuesday, February 20, 2018

The Lunar New Year began last week, and this year is the Year of the Dog. But what does that mean? Here is a little background on the Lunar New Year tradition.  


The Chinese calendar revolves around 12 animal zodiac signs. In order these animals are: Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Goat, Monkey, Rooster, Dog, Pig.

These animals are not as random as they may seem, the ox, horse, goat, rooster, pig, and dog are some of the main animals domesticated by Chinese people and the rat, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake and monkey are all loved by the Chinese.

The animals rotate based on the idea of Yin and Yang, each animal is determined to be a yin or yang based upon the even or odd number of toes/hooves/paws they have. The yang attribute comes first followed by yin. This cycle repeats every 12 years.


This is the year of the dog, which means any person born in this year will have the dog as their Chinese zodiac symbol. Previous years of the dog include 2006, 1994, 1982, 1970, 1958, 1946, and 1934.

Each zodiac animal is paired with a Celestial Stem (the elements of earth, wind, fire, and wood). These Celestial Stems rotate on a 60-year cycle. Your zodiac year and Celestial Stem pairing are believed to influence your personality traits and relationships with others. This year's Celestial Stem is Earth which means dogs born in this year " are stubborn and never give up. They aren’t very connected with the world and society. Though stubborn, they respect other perspectives. They believe that as long as they work hard, they’ll make it." There has not been a Year of the Dog with the Celestial Stem Earth since 1958.

The Year of the Dog will influence the year for other signs. Depending on how compatible certain signs are with the dog, they will have a successful or challenging year. The zodiac year will dictate how other signs should dress, decorate their homes, or act, if they want good fortune.

For those born in previous Years of the Dog, this year will be difficult. Your zodiac year is seen as a "hurdle you have to jump over" or hardship you must overcome. Traditionally, the way to protect oneself from evil spirits and bad luck during one's zodiac year was to wear red underwear everyday for the entire year. While this practice may not be widely observed by many Chinese today, bad fortune in one's zodiac year is still treated as a concern.

If you're interested in your Chinese zodiac, you can find out what the Year of the Dog will bring you here

When the Clock Strikes 12

Global Immersions Recruiting - Thursday, December 28, 2017

Whether viewed as an anthem, lifestyle, or fact, it’s 5 o'clock Somewhere. On December 31, a different hour is anticipated. The New Year is rung in all over the globe, in each time zone with fireworks and festivities.

First Night Boston, the oldest and largest event of its kind in the country, derived from a woman’s dream for a nontraditional night out. In 1975, Clara and Bill Wainwright attended a New Year's Eve party and found it predictable. They envisioned an Inclusive family-friendly celebration. The couple began organizing their project of a creative night by meeting with local artists. With partners and sponsors, they were able to plan more more than a hundred individual events across the city, including concerts, displays, and fireworks. New England weather is unpredictable, and the temperature reached a windchill of ten degrees below zero. About 25,000 people bundled up to experience First Night. It has since become a tradition and inspired similar events throughout the country and the world. 

The first major city to experience the New Year is Sydney. The largest fireworks display of the world is presented on the harbor, with the iconic Sydney Harbour Bridge and Sydney Opera House making the show only more alluring. A ceremony presented by the Aboriginal peoples, showcases eucalyptus smoke billowing over the water, cleansing the Harbour of bad spirits. Family Fireworks go off at 9 pm for young Aussies to view, with the larger presentation following at the stroke of midnight. The parade of boats illuminated with strings of lights, glide through the harbor.

Perhaps the most thought celebration spot for New Year’s Eve is New York City. With millions gathering to watch the ball drop in Times Square and hours of notable musical guests, it is no wonder it is the most famous. The pricey alternative to partying outside is to have reservations or attend parties at the restaurants or bars overlooking the festivities. Crowds aren’t for everyone, which makes the televised broadcast, “Dick Clark’s Rockin’ New Year’s Eve with Ryan Seacrest” such a success. 


“Dick Clark’s Rockin’ New Year’s Eve with Ryan Seacrest” now features segments from the Las Vegas party with additional guest appearances from celebrities. The Las Vegas Strip is known for entertainment, making it one of the great party destinations. On New Year’s Eve the road is shut down and transformed into a street party with live bands and pyrotechnics from various locations.

Another city known for partying, Rio de Janeiro is a top New Year’s Eve Destination. Known for its Carnival blowout, the New Year’s Eve bash maintains the same level of excitement, making it the largest New Year’s Eve party in the world. Over two million flock to the two and a half mile stretch of sand, known as Copacabana Beach. While Copacabana Beach is the most popular, smaller events will take place on other beaches and locations. Locals will traditionally wear white and will toss flowers and offerings into the ocean. Oceanfront stages host live musical and dance performances.


Needless to say, cities around the world are well-versed in celebrating the New Year. What are YOUR plans to welcome in 2018? 

Everyone here at Global Immersions hopes you have a fabulous New Year!!

Christmas: Then and Now

Global Immersions Recruiting - Thursday, December 21, 2017

The winter solstice marked the short, harsh and dark winter days were coming to an end. Longer days and extended hours of sunlight are highly anticipated and brought hope to those seeking comfort in the sun. This Pagan celebration was soon absorbed by others and transitioned into a Christian holiday. The winter holiday became an anniversary celebration of the birth of Jesus. From one religion to another and constantly evolving, Christmas of today has religious implications but the commercialized aspects have far outgrown the religious ones. Narratives once revolved around Jesus, but Santa Claus has since become the integral character for Christmas stories.

Not always the popular holiday it is today, Christmas was outlawed in Boston from 1659 to 1681. Puritan beliefs countered the celebration and those participating in Christmas festivities were fined five shillings. While other settlements did not have these strict regulations and Christmas slowly gained popularity. Christmas was declared a federal holiday in the United States in on June 26, 1870. Globalization and developing technologies have changed and spread traditions. Each family has different traditions, as does each country. Other traditions and celebrations are unique to a country or town.

Christmas trees have become a symbol of Christmas. Christmas trees were first seen in Germany and immigrants brought the concept to the United States. Thought of as a Pagan tradition, it was not widely embraced initially. The first record of a Christmas tree being publicly displayed was in the 1830s. This display in Pennsylvania was created by German immigrants who had been decorating such trees in their communities for years. Popularity of Christmas trees grew after Queen Victoria and Prince Albert, who was German, were photographed with their children around one.

St. Lucia (Lucy) Day is celebrated widely, but most common in Scandinavia on December 13. The name Lucy refers to “light” and the celebration initially coincide with the winter solstice. To commemorate her death, a girl will dress in a white gown with a red sash around the waist. A crown of twigs and nine lit candles adorn her head. Processions are common in towns and one girl is selected for the honor of leading it. She will dress with the sash and crown of candles, but the other participants will carry a candle


Gävlebocken, the Gävle Goat, is a holiday display in Gävle, Sweden. Comprised of straw, the goat has cost upwards of a quarter of a million dollars to create and maintain. Since the tradition was introduced in 1966, the Gävle Goat has been destroyed by vandals 35 times in the past 50 years. Increased resources have been allocated to the protection of the display.  

While everyone might be dreaming of a white Christmas, some have white sandy beaches. In the Southern Hemisphere, Christmas is in the middle of summer. Australians  tend to go to the beach and have a picnic as their Christmas meal. The weather permits plenty of outdoor activities for the whole family to enjoy.


All in all, Christmas around the world is celebrated in various styles and fashions, but most people would agree that the most important part of Christmas is the time we spend with family!

Merry Christmas to all!

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!