On behalf of our entire organization, I would like to wish everyone a Happy Holiday season. Throughout the world there are numerous different traditions that are taking place to celebrate this joyous season. I want to share a few traditions and activities practiced in Haiti during this time. In Fond des Blancs, Christmas most definitely does not go unnoticed. It is a highly celebrated occasion referred to as Joyeux noel, which means merry Christmas. The first popular activity is to attend what is called a “Reveyon” on Christmas eve. Which translates to revival. This is when friends and family attend church or mass, which is often an all-night affair, lasting well past midnight.
Pi Detwal or peta is another tradition. These are sparklers or roman candles. This is one that I particularly looked forward to as a child. Children will light up as many as they can and carve shapes and words into the night. It was always fun to try to time a throw just right before the sparkler burned out and hope it went out before landing back on the ground, (no person or pet was ever harmed during this activity.)
Another is what is called fanal. Which means lantern. These are beautifully created paper homes or structures. It is incredibly light paper that is almost transparent and allows for light to shine through and create a beautiful light up box that are placed in homes and porches.
Kremas is the next holiday staple. It is similar in look and texture to eggnog. Kremas is made with Haitian rum, coconut milk, ground nutmeg, evaporated milk and vanilla extract. It is delicious.
Presents are not a typical occurrence in Haiti, depending on each person’s level of income. Us Haitians were granted an early present this year with the world cup. I don’t have time now to go into the depth of love we Haitians have for foutbòl (soccer), but it borders on fanatical extremes. We made sure to set up spaces at our secondary school for everyone and anyone to watch. Especially that sensational final where Messi cemented himself as the goat. Don’t come at me. Sadly, with the increasing insecurities and difficulties facing the country, participating in these traditions are becoming increasingly more difficult. The people of Haiti are incredibly resilient and most just seek to provide for themselves and help those around them in their community in any way they can. HCDF will continue working diligently in the Fond des Blancs community to bring about sustainable, Haitian led projects that help create real lasting change. Please consider supporting us through a generous donation.
Again, we wish everyone a happy and safe holiday season.