Haiti Ancestors' Day

Haiti Ancestors' Day

January 2
Haitians devote the first two days of the calendar year to commemorating the nation's past along with celebrating the new year. The Independence Day festivities that occur on the first day of the year continue into Jour des Aieux (Ancestors' Day), an occasion for remembering the founders of Haiti and the individuals who sacrificed their lives during the independence struggle of the early 19th century. The tributes that are held on Ancestors' Day in Haiti and in immigrant communities in major U.S. cities are testimony to the emphasis that Haitian culture places on remembering the country's forefathers.
A large meal often accompanies the day's festivities. Military processions, a common event on Independence Day, may also take place on Ancestors' Day. In years past, particularly during the reign of President Francois Duvalier (1971–1986), the executive leader used this day to deliver radio and television speeches to the nation.
CONTACTS:
Embassy of the Republic of Haiti
2311 Massachusetts Ave. N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20008
202-332-4090; fax: 202-745-7215
www.haiti.org
SOURCES:
AnnivHol-2000, p. 3