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(Silverinternational) – Independence day in Haiti is an important holiday, celebrated on January 1, the same day as New Year’s Day.

On January 1, 1804, Haiti, located in the West Indies, made history by being the first black country to gain its independence. Haiti’s original name was “Ayiti, Quisqueya, Bohio.” It was a name given by the original inhabitants who lived there. After Christopher Columbus discovered the Island in 1492, he named it “Hispaniola,” meaning “Little Spain,” in honor of the Spanish crown. The name subsequently changed to “Haiti”, meaning mountainous land. It was a name given by the French settlers in the western area.

Toussaint L’Ouverture, who is one of the country’s greatest heroes, led his country to victory over French general Le Clerc in a revolution of the slaves.  But it wasn’t only Toussaint L’Ouverture who helped with the victory; there were many other generals, too.

Francois Capois was the leader of the “Bataille de vertiere.” And even though they shot his hat off his head, he said, “En avant , En avant.”

Many of the generals died by fighting for independence so most of them didn’t get to see the fruits of their labor – the first independence day. They were brave and zealous to serve their country and they hoped that one day they would be free, even if they die fighting for that freedom.

When the French were in control, they had a law said that they were the only ones who could eat soup because they were in the upper class. The French used to have a custom that only they could eat soup on New Year’s Day. Blacks weren’t allowed.

Eventually, when Haiti proclaimed its independence, all Haitians started to eat soup. It was a way to demonstrate that everyone was equal. Since then, this custom of eating soup on Independence Day has been kept. The soup is a symbol that the French were no longer in control. Cooking and eating the soup on New Year’s Day is a way to celebrate freedom.

Via Silverinternational

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