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How to celebrate Haiti Independence - Learn Haitian Creole | Aprann Kreyòl Ayisyen |

haiti independence

How to celebrate Haiti Independence

Haiti Independence: December 31st is a big deal around the world because it is the end of one year. The last day of the year also opens the way for a new year. People make new year resolutions, wish each other happy new year,  party, and reflect on the past year. All those things are true for Haitians, except we also celebrate our Independence day from the French. As a child growing up in Haiti, I used to hear that during slavery times, the Africans (now Haitians) were not allowed to eat Pumpkin soup (soup joumou). The Africans (slaves) ate bread soup which is still popular in Haiti while the French ate Pumpkin soup. After declaring their independence in 1804, the Africans (aka Haitians) celebrated by eating Pumpkin soup and that is still the case over 200 years later. Today, Haitians continue to celebrate the New Year by cooking and sharing pumpkin soup with neighbors, regardless of where they are living in the world. As a mother of three young children living in the United States, it is a tradition that I pass down to my own kids. In fact, they get excited over Pumpkin Soup on January 1st.

This post and video are a bit different from the other ones because this one focuses more on the culture surrounding New Year in Haiti than learning Haitian Creole. You will learn how most Haitians celebrate New Year’s eve, how the soup joumou is prepared, how we celebrate Haiti’s Independence day, and how they celebrate the day after New Year’s day. Wherever you are on January 1st, I wish you a happy New Year 2019. If you are Haitian, Haitian descent, married to a Haitian, a foreigner living in Haiti,  or if you have Haitian friends, I hope you enjoy some “soup joumou” and remember to share with the neighbors. Bòn Ane 2019 (Happy New Year 2019)

Here’s a list of ingredients for Haitian soup joumou:

Pumpkin (Squash) = Joumou

Cabbage = Chou

Carrots = Kawòt

Leeks = Poro or Powo

Turnip = Navèt

Sorrel leaf (or cilantro if you can’t find sorrel) = L’oseille

Thyme = Tin

Clove = Jiwòf

Habanero pepper (green) = Piman

Cooking butter = Bè lili

Potatoes = Pòmdetè

Macaroni = Makawoni

Vermicelli = Vèmisèl

Sweet potatoes or yam = Patat

Meat = Vyann

Haitian Spices = Epis

Haitian spices ingredients (crushed or blended):

Fresh garlic = Lay

Green onions = Powo

Black pepper = Pwav

Salt = Sèl

Parsley = Pèsi

Maggie seasoning (optional) = Maggi

Here’s what some of the items look like:

How to Celebrate Haiti Independence video

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