New and now: Passover seders, Disney events, US visitors
PASSOVER SEDERS AROUND THE WORLD
If you’re traveling over the Passover holiday but you’d like to attend a seder, you can choose from hundreds in the U.S. and abroad sponsored by the Jewish outreach organization Chabad Lubavitch.
The eight-day holiday of Passover begins at sundown April 3 and ends April 11. The seder is a ritual meal with readings, songs and special food, including matzo. Chabad will be holding seders the first two nights of the holiday.
The events will take place in every corner of the world, from Accra in Ghana, to Rio de Janeiro in Brazil, Hanoi in Vietnam and Queensland, Australia. There will also be seders on nearly 100 college campuses.
The events are open to the public and many are free, though it’s best to let organizers know if you plan to attend so they’ll be prepared for the right number of guests.
In Denmark, which recently experienced a terrorist attack at a synagogue, there will be community seders in Copenhagen and Arhus, along with other holiday programs and a model matzo bakery. Some 400 seders are planned across Russia, while the largest single seder planned by the organization is in Katmandu, Nepal, which draws some 1,500 participants a year, many of them Israeli backpackers.
Those enjoying spring break in the Caribbean can attend seders on St. Thomas, Aruba and elsewhere.
The Seder Finder, at http://www.Chabad.org/Seders , lists some 2,000 communal seders.
DISNEY EVENTS IN MAY
Can’t sleep? Baby keeping you up all night? Or maybe you’re just looking for something to do in the wee hours — like hanging out with Disney characters at a dance party.
Disney parks in both Florida and California are planning 24-hour events in May with dance parties, character greetings and other surprises.
Walt Disney World outside Orlando will open the Magic Kingdom for 24 hours Memorial Day weekend, from 6 a.m. Friday, May 22, to 6 a.m. Saturday, May 23. The event was announced mid-March in winter-weary Boston against a beach scene of trucked-in sand, including a Cinderella Castle made of sand and Olaf, the snowman from “Frozen.” The event will kick off the park’s “Coolest Summer Ever” programming, which will include, at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, daily “Frozen”-themed shows and experiences June 17-Sept. 7 and “Star Wars” weekends, May 15-June 14.
On the West Coast, Disneyland Resort in Anaheim is kicking off its 60th anniversary with a 24-hour event, also 6 a.m. May 22 through 6 a.m. May 23. The diamond anniversary includes the premieres of three new nighttime events: Disneyland Forever” fireworks, “Paint the Night” parade and “World of Color - Celebrate!” — an outdoor show that includes film sequences projected on a water screen with 1,200 fountain, special effects and music.
US TOURISM BY THE NUMBERS
Seventy-five million international tourists visited the United States in 2014, an increase of 7 percent over 2013, according to U.S. Department of Commerce statistics.
Perhaps not surprisingly, more visitors come from bordering countries, Canada and Mexico, than anywhere else in the world.
Rounding out the top 10 countries sending the most visitors here were the United Kingdom, Japan, Brazil, China, Germany, France, South Korea and Australia.
The top three ports of entry, New York City (Kennedy Airport), Miami and Los Angeles, accounted for 41 percent of all overseas arrivals.
Thirty-seven percent of visitors came from Western Europe, 28 percent from Asia, and nearly 16 percent from South America.