Here at FreddyLink, we want to take a moment to wish everyone a very merry Christmas or, as they say in Haiti, Jwaye Nwel!!
There are a number of wonderful Christmas traditions in Haiti (source: https://worldwidevillage.org/christmas-in-haiti/):
Reveillon: Christmas Eve is often the day most celebrated in Haiti and Reveillon is an important part of the Haitian culture on this day. “Reveillon” comes from the French word “réveil” which means “waking” and is a time to celebrate the awakening of Christ with a feast. Many people attend late-night church services on Christmas Eve, and this feast is often enjoyed after church with friends and family into the early hours of the morning. Traditional foods can include rice with djon djon (Haitian mushrooms), rice and beans, chicken creole, fried accra, goat, pineapple upside down cake or orange cake. This feast can last the entire night as people dance and sing in celebration. Christmas Day is often a quieter day. Many Christians attend a special Christmas church service and time is spent with friends and family.
Fanal: Fanals are small lantern-like homes that are part of Haiti’s Christmas tradition. A candle is placed inside that illuminates the craft and makes a stained-glass effect. The fanals are a century old tradition that many say were used to light worshipers’ way to church. The word fanal comes from the French word for lantern.
Wosle: This is a game often enjoyed by children over the Christmas holiday. It is similar to jacks and keeps children entertained while parents enjoy their Christmas meals and time together.
Pi Detwal: In some parts of Haiti, children enjoy “pi detwal” which are similar to our 4th of July sparklers. Children love to watch the pi detwal light up the darkness of the night. Pi detwal translates to “rain of stars” which is so fitting!