Haiti Independence Day

Haiti Independence Day

January 1
The people of Haiti celebrate both New Year's Day and Independence Day on January 1, the day on which they declared their independence from the French in 1804. Thousands of people assemble in the capital city of Port-au-Prince to see the parades and to visit the National Palace on the Champs de Mars. They set off fireworks, dance in the streets, and sing the national anthem, which honors their founder, Jean-Jacques Dessalines, the hero of the anti-French revolt.
According to Haitian custom, whatever happens to someone on January 1 is indicative of what will happen to them during the coming year, motivating even the poorest people to make an effort to put on new clothes, to visit their friends, and to give and receive gifts in the hope that these efforts will be rewarded in the coming year.
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:
FestWrld: Haiti-1999, p. 20
FolkWrldHol-1999, p. 3
NatlHolWrld-1968, p. 6
Holidays, Festivals, and Celebrations of the World Dictionary, Fourth Edition. © 2010 by Omnigraphics, Inc.