A Haitian Holiday

A Haitian Holiday

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! It’s truly the most wonderful time of the year. Christmas in Haiti is typically a quiet affair. Families gather together to celebrate, and churches hold Christmas Eve worship services. In Haiti, The real star of the holiday show is January 1, also known as Haitian Independence Day.

Haiti became the first free Black republic on January 1, 1804. After a thirteen year upheaval against the French, Haitians won the right to be their own sovereign nation. That same spirit of determination and overcoming is carried on by Haitians today. Every January 1, families gather together to celebrate the Haitian victory over the French with a big pot of pumpkin soup, or soup joumou. Tradition says that before the Revolution only slave masters dined on the savory soup, so after winning independence, everyone dined on big bowls of, you guessed it, soup joumou. Today, pumpkin soup represents freedom and the rich traditions woven into Haitian culture. Like each family, each pot of soup is unique. Mothers teach their children to make their family’s take on soup joumou with a pinch of this and a taste of that. Some pots are accented with roasted beef and noodles, while others take a more vegetarian approach. We love that each pot of soup represents the strong family ties within Haitian culture. While it’s hard to pin down an exact recipe of soup joumou, we’ve rounded up a few online to help add a Haitian flair to your holidays!

Haitian Recipes: Soup Joumou

Epicurious: Haitian Beef and Pumpkin Soup

Saveur: Haitian Beef-Pumpkin Soup

What are your favorite holiday dishes, and what do they represent to you?

Love + Caribbean Christmas Light-

The Petite Palm Team