The National Day of Haiti is on the 1 January (Declaration of independence from France 1804). This is also known as Independence Day or Nouvelle Année in Haiti. This day celebrates the anniversary of Haiti’s independence from France in 1804.
National Day of Haiti
It was on the 1st January that Haitians celebrate their freedom and the struggle against colonialism and slavery. You will note that the Haitian Revolution which started in 1791 and led to independence. This started in the French colony of Saint-Domingue, which is now the nation of Haiti. You will note that the National Day of Haiti is a public holiday in the country.
The Haitian Revolution was led by Toussaint L’Ouverture, Jean-Jacques Dessalines, and Henri Christophe and was a major uprising that began in 1791. This ultimately led to the establishment of Haiti as an independent nation. It was the first and only successful slave rebellion in modern history. The Haitian Revolution was driven by the extreme cruelty and oppression of the French colonial system. This which enslaved hundreds of thousands of Africans and their descendants to work on sugar plantations. The Haitian Revolution saw a series of battles and campaigns that ultimately led to the defeat of French colonial forces and the establishment of Haiti as an independent nation in 1804.
After the Haitian Revolution, France demanded that Haiti pay large reparations for lost property and profits.
In 1825 then under threat of military invasion. Haiti then agreed to pay France 150 million francs in reparations. This was however later reduced to 90 million francs. This debt was so large that Haiti was forced to take out loans from French banks. This placed the country into deep debt. This was finally completely paid in 1947. The repayment of the debt had a significant impact on the Haitian economy and political system, and it contributed to the country’s ongoing struggles with poverty and instability. See also the history under the National Day of Dominican Republic and the National Day of Grenada.
Public Holidays in Haiti
Here are some of the most important public holidays in Haiti:
- New Year’s Day (January 1st)
- Carnival (variable dates, typically in February or March)
- Good Friday (variable date, typically in March or April)
- Easter Monday (variable date, typically in March or April)
- Labor Day (May 1st)
- Flag Day (May 18th)
- Assumption Day (August 15th)
- All Saints’ Day (November 1st)
- Christmas Day (December 25th)
In addition to these holidays, there are other cultural celebrations in Haiti. See the National Day of Trinidad and Tobago.