This event would not be complete without singing, dancing and playing of drums, Dholaks, drinks and sweets.
The Hindu spring festival of colors and love is the day when many gather to “forgive and forget” conflicts and resentments. The highlight of this event is when everyone “play with colors” by using dry colored powders, colored solution and water balloons on friends and families.
This event would not be complete without singing, dancing and playing of drums, Dholaks, drinks and sweets.
Happy Holidays! Felices Vacaciones! 節日快樂! Joyeuses Fêtes! 해피 홀리데이!
As 2017 comes to a close, we at ISO would like to thank our valued members for their continued support. We continue to strive to provide the best service and insurance coverage available for this vibrant community and look forward to strengthen this relationship for 2018 and all the years after.
We wish you and your loved ones a safe and peaceful holidays.
ISO Student Health Insurance Team
January 28th marks the celebration of the Lunar New Year or Spring Festival. For many Asian cultures, this is the beginning of the first day of the first month of the lunisolar Chinese calendar and the time to reconcile differences and start anew. This year represents the Year of the Rooster, specifically the Fire Rooster. Here’s a look at some interesting facts about how the Lunar New Year is celebrated by the different Asian cultures.
From all of us at ISO, Happy Lunar New Year!
Red all over
Red is the color of choice to celebrate the Lunar New Year in China and as a result all of the decorations have this color. From the red lanterns hanging in the streets to the red couplets pasted on doors and red rooster decorations will be theme for this year’s celebrations.
Many of the temples in Indonesia conduct midnight prayers while burning hundreds of candles as a way to welcome a bright future.
Tikoy & Ang Pao
In the Philippines,Tikoy is sticky rice that is usually eaten during the new year celebration. For the Filipino culture, the lion and dragon dance is big part of their celebration and people usually hang Ang Pao in home entrance so that the dancers can collect them during their dance.
Tet Nguyen Dan (Tet)
This is the Vietnamese version of the Lunar New Year. It is believed at the dawn of Tet, whatever activity that you are doing will determine your fate for the rest of the year. So at this time persons try to be cordial and friendly with the hope of having a good year.
After a busy Fall semester, relaxing and resting are usually at the top of the list to do during the holiday break. Throughout your much needed break, there are the 3 G’s that you should keep in mind to avoid unnecessary stress.
The holiday season is in full swing! Just as how the international student population is diverse so are the different ways the holidays are celebrated. Here’s a quick look on how some different cultures celebrate the festive season:
United States of America: The USA is the home to a melting pot of cultures which extends itself to the diverse holidays that are celebrated at this time of the year. These holidays include Christmas, Kwanzaa (celebration of the African heritage in African-American culture) and Hanukkah (Jewish festival of lights).
Omisoka (Japan): This is celebrated the day before the New Year. Noodles are often eaten as "a sign of long life" and crossing from one year to the next. Those who celebrate tend to go to shrines or temples and drink Amazake.
Ta Chiu (Hong Kong): This involves praying to the god or gods of their ancestors and asking for their wishes to be fulfilled within the coming year.
St. Stephen's Day/ Wren Day (Ireland): On December 26, children go door to door singing, holding with holly bush and a fake wren (song bird). They ask for money for the “starving wren”.
Sviata Vechera (Ukraine): Also known as “Holy Supper”, this celebratory dinner includes 12 dishes that represent the 12 apostles. There is no meat or milk products but fish is included in the dinner.
Thanksgiving is just days away and it is the season where overindulging begins and we find ourselves being a little less healthy with our food choices and holiday activities. Here are some tips on how to have a healthy Thanksgiving:
Switch it up: Instead of turkey for Thanksgiving, try something new. Create your own Thanksgiving tradition and have dishes with lots of vegetables, less salt and sugar or simply prepare meals in a healthier way. The bonus should be to add your own dishes from your home country and you have yourself your own Thanksgiving healthy feast.
“Less is more”: Sometimes when there is a lot of food, we tend to want to try almost everything at once in large amounts. Instead, get the food that you would really like to eat in well portioned size so that your appetite is satisfied and you don’t overeat.
Calorie burner: Take a safe evening hike through the fallen autumn leaves or a morning jog is a fun and refreshing way to help get rid of the any unhealthy calories that you may have gained during your Thanksgiving feast.
Enjoy the moment: The best part of Thanksgiving goes beyond the food and drinks. It’s about spending time with those you care about and remembering to embrace every moment to the fullest.
One of the most popular things that come to mind when you mention the month of October is Halloween. Aside from the scary costumes and the more than usual candy filled stores, October is also a time for pumpkin. Many use it as part of their Fall or Halloween decorations (Jack-o’-lantern, anyone?) but there is more to pumpkin than what meets the eyes. It is good for your vision, blood pressure, your heart and helps you sleep better.
One of the most popular things that come to mind when you mention the month of October is Halloween. Aside from the scary costumes and the more than usual candy filled stores, October is also a time for pumpkin. Many use it as part of their Fall or Halloween decorations (Jack-o’-lantern, anyone?) but there is more to pumpkin than what meets the eyes. It is good for your vision, blood pressure, your heart and helps you sleep better
What is Halloween if there aren’t any “guts” involved? In the center of the pumpkin, you will find all the stringy and slimy parts to it. It may look a little unsavory but you will be surprised to know that the pumpkin “guts” can be used to make pumpkin soup. Add some carrots, thyme, parsley and other fresh vegetables and it’s a sure way to keep warm during this cool Halloween month
Now that we have the “guts”, let’s top it off with a little “flesh” to keep up with the Halloween theme. Baking is a huge part of embracing the Fall weather and what goes great with toast or muffin, butter! Use the flesh of the pumpkin to make pumpkin butter. Not only is it tasty but healthier than regular butter and it has lots more fiber.
It’s all in the face. One of the ways to pull off a great Halloween costume is your facial expression, so why not put your best face forward. Pumpkin is filled with Zinc Vitamins A, C and E—all of which are good for your skin. Turn it into a puree, add some brown sugar and milk and you have yourself an affordable at home facial treatment.
Have a spooktastic October and don't forget to enjoy Halloween and strengthen your body's defense against the changing seasons.
Story of Thanksgiving
“Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelled in the Heavens,” was proclaimed by President Abraham Lincoln during the Civil War in 1863. Since then, Thanksgiving has become an official and major holiday in the US along with New Year’s Day and Christmas.
Over the years, there has been nonstop debate over when the first Thanksgiving was celebrated in the U.S. The first mention of Thanksgiving was in December 1621, after the Pilgrims survived their first Winter in 1620 and had grown plenty food during the year. They celebrated by having 3 days of feasting with the Native Americans.
The traditional meal for this time of year usually consists of turkey with stuffing, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce and pumpkin pie. No one really knows why these are always on the menu every Thanksgiving but it has become a tradition and custom that many Americans love. Even if you may not be fond of everything on this menu, it is always fun to add food from your own culture so that you can make this American holiday your own.
Make a Thanksgiving Plan
With Thanksgiving being close to the end of the semester, many of you may feel tempted to spend the entire break relaxing and catching up on some much needed sleep. However, if you are not careful you will realize that after autumn break, there are final exams. If you have a good time management plan, you will not necessary have to spend your entire Thanksgiving holiday with your head in the books.
Thanksgiving Day Parades
These parades have a great way to start off Thanksgiving Day and put you in the holiday spirit. Filled with marching bands, festive floats and giant balloons of popular characters such as Spider Man and SpongeBob, you are sure to feel like a kid again. Some of the best parades in the U.S. are listed below:
New York City Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, Houston's H-E-B Holiday Parade (Houston, Texas), Chicago's Grand Holiday Tradition (Chicago, IL), America's Hometown Parade (Plymouth, MA), Seattle Macy's Day Parade (Seattle, WA), Ameren Missouri Thanksgiving Day Parade (St. Louis, MO), Carolinas' Carrousel Parade (Charlotte, NC), America's Thanksgiving Parade (Detroit, MI), Philadelphia Thanksgiving Day Parade (Philadelphia, PA)
Recently, it has become a popular part of Thanksgiving. The term “Black Friday” became popular in the 1960s when stores used this as a mark that the Christmas shopping season will be starting. It is the hottest shopping season in one year. Black Friday offers the best shopping deals at the lowest prices, but it only works for those customers who are prepared. Here are some Black Friday tips:
· Do your research and compare price: If you are planning to buy a popular yet expensive, like a laptop or mobile phone, it is important to check the reviews by previous customers. You can check the average retail price and compare prices online for the product so it is convenient to go directly to the store that has the best offer deal.
· Bring Ads and use store credits: Bring Ads or coupons with you to the store so you can call the store to make sure that you are getting their guaranteed “lowest price” guarantee. Don’t forget to use your store credit card to get more credits.
· Be familiar with early bird specials and store policies: Some of the stores would open at 12:00 a.m. on Black Friday, and others would open early from 4:00 a.m. or 6:00 a.m. Be an early bird to get the best deals! However, you can stay up late to get night owl specials if you would not like get up early. Remember to check the store policy because most of the products are on their final sales!
The most important thing that you need to remember is to ensure that you are staying within your budget as much as possible and not to overspend.
Thanksgivings in Other Countries
Erntedankfest in Germany
Labor Thanksgiving Day in Japan
Diwali, also known as Deepavali, is an Indian traditional festival in autumn every year. This year Diwali will be celebrated on Thursday Oct. 23th.
As one of the biggest and happiest holidays in India, Diwali is not only special for its spiritual meanings: light over darkness, knowledge over ignorance, good over evil, and hope over despair but cultural importance. It is significant for its cross cultural celebration of happiness and joy with friends and families. During Diwali, families light up lamps and candles inside and outside their homes. The sky is lit up by spectacular fireworks as everyone gets ready to welcome new beginnings, joy and happiness for the year to come. Diwali also marks the beginning of new business year for many businessmen as they close their books for the past year and pray to the goddess of wealth for a prosperous new year.
During this almost week long celebration - Indian men, women and children – all enjoy this festival alike by sharing sweets, dinner with friends and family and of course shopping. Diwali is also known as one of the biggest shopping occasion as people get ready to buy items ranging from a simple new pair of clothes to a new car or home and of course Gold!
A very Happy and Healthy Diwali for our Indian members, their friends and family!
The season of Thanksgiving is here. The kick off holiday to the festive season was first celebrated, nationally, on November 26, 1789. Over the years, it has become a beloved tradition for family, friends and loads of delicious food! During this time many students are returning home to spend quality time with their family. As an international student, being far away from home during this time can be difficult. However, there are several ways to be a part of this yearly tradition and more.
1. On- campus celebrations
Many campuses across the U.S. usually host Thanksgiving dinner/parties for their international students. If your school is hosting such an event, go out and enjoy the feast. It’s a perfect way to hang out with your friends and take a small break from studying. Plus who doesn’t love free food?
2. Thanksgiving with your friends!
Nothing is closer to having family than surrounding yourself with friends. You can have your own Thanksgiving celebration with your friends by preparing food together, watching football, and simply enjoying each other’s company.
Giving back to those in need is a good way to capture the spirit of Thanksgiving. Not only are you getting involved in your community, but you get to meet new people and learn about their background. You can help share and deliver food to those who are in need and show them what this holiday is really about!
4. Thanksgiving Day Parade
This is a must-see event for Thanksgiving. Big, bright balloons of favorite cartoon and movie characters, floats and musical performances are just some the features of a Thanksgiving Day Parade. For those living in or close to New York City, there is the Macy’s Day Parade that brings about thousands of people each year. If you’re not in New York, check out if your local area will be having a parade and go out and enjoy the festivities.
5. Sleep and Study
After enjoying a wholesome Thanksgiving meal with your friends and enjoying local events, Thanksgiving break is also a good time to get some rest. With final examinations around the corner, catching up on some sleep and squeezing in some study time will be needed to help you through this busy period. Also, take this opportunity to complete any outstanding assignments.
From the ISO staff to you, Happy Thanksgiving!