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Haitian Independence Day
New Year’s Day, January 1st, is Haitian Independence Day! Haitian Independence Day is one of the most important celebrations that is observed by Haitians. On January 1st or “Premier Janvier” people of Haitian descent all over the world celebrate being “Haitian”. Families gather together for breakfast, lunch or at the dinner table to eat “soupe joumou”, "soupe de giraumon" or pumpkin soup together. Haitians eat soupe joumou in remembrance of the ancestors who fought for and won our freedom.
According to Haitian oral tradition, soupe joumou was a delicacy that was forbidden to the enslaved African people of “Saint-Domingue”, even though they were the ones that prepared, cooked and served it. On January 1st, 1804, at the culmination of the Haitian Revolution that had started in 1791, Jean-Jacques Dessalines declared Saint-Domingue’s independence from France. They had successfully defeated the French and ended slavery. Dessalines renamed the island “Ayiti” or Haiti. To show that they were free and equal to the French colonizers that had previously enslaved them, the Haitian people cooked and drank soupe joumou: freedom soup! Freedom had never tasted so good!
Introduce Premier Janvier or Haitian Independence Day to your little learners! In this song, I have changed "Premye Janvye" in Haitian Creole to "Premier Janvier" in French. "Premier Janvier" means "The First of January" in French. Use this song and writing activity to help little learners sing about and write about how they celebrate this holiday with their friends and family. Six writing prompts to choose from: Soupe joumou est.../Quand je bois de la soupe joumou...; Soupe de giraumon est.../Quand je bois de la soupe de giraumon...; Le Premier Janvier est.../Pour le Premier Janvier...
In this French version of the song, "C'est le Premier Janvier", the names of the Haitian heroes are written in French only: Jean-Jacques Dessalines, Marie-Claire Heureuse Félicité. Color and black and white templates included. Print as needed to make individual student books or a class book. Select one-sided printing to make each book. Bonus Jean-Jacques and Marie-Claire posters and coloring sheets provided.
Use with students learning French or from a Francophone country.
Happy Soup Joumou Day to you and yours!
Thank you so much! Enjoy!
Last updated: 01/12/2019
Haitian Heritage Clipart sets available at Teachers Pay Teachers Store:
Lovely Jubblies Teach (https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Store/Lovely-Jubblies-Teach)