I am always curious about some of the New Year’s Eve traditions that take place in different cultures. I am Haitian-American and we have a few traditions of our own. Every New Year’s Eve, my mom makes soup joumou which is a popular Haitian cuisine. It contains pumpkin, pasta, cuts of beef, potato, and various vegetables. She usually makes a big pot of it and you eat it on New Year’s Eve and at the beginning of the New Year. It is the perfect soup for the chilly Christmas holiday with its mix of flavors and spices.
Soup Joumou is not only a great way to bring in the New Year, but it celebrates our victorious past. It celebrates our Haitian independence which happens to be New Years Day. On January 1, 1804 Haiti became the first black republic to abolish slavery. We fought along my direct ancestor Jean-Jacques Dessalines to win this war and earn our freedom. Every spoonful of soup is a celebration of our bravery and our resilience.
CLEANING BEFORE THE NEW YEAR
Another Haitian New Year’s Eve tradition is cleaning before the New Years. When I say clean, I don’t mean a little bit. This means cleaning and scrubbing the entirety of your house from inside out. This includes throwing out any things that are of no use to you. You want a clutter-free and clean home because we believe it will bring an immense amount of luck to you in the New Year. It basically sets the tone for how you’d like the New Year to be.
What are some of your New Year’s Eve traditions in your culture?