Christmas in Haiti
In the lead up to Christmas, we’ll be taking a look at how people all across the world celebrate the birth of Christ. First up we’re looking at Haiti where celebrating Christmas is a state of mind.
“This year, I could not afford to buy her anything. The Christmas celebration at the centre has been an answer to my prayers as it has brought joy to me and my granddaughter. Brielle has received her gift,” says Yvette, caregiver of Brielle from Compassion’s Child Sponsorship Program.
Christmas season in Haiti starts in early November and slowly fades away in the first week of January. Local traditions include Christmas carols and songs being played everywhere from the radio to the streets of Port-au-Prince and buildings being dressed in Christmas lights.
Firecrackers, fireworks and gunshots can be heard at all hours of the day and night without worrying Haitian citizens. Every Haitian knows that Christmas involves gifts under the Christmas tree, liquors exchanged as gifts and turkey eaten together among the wealthiest families.
Christmas in Haiti is a state of mind in which people feel like celebrating peacefully despite their often fragile political situation, because it is simply the time of the year when all hearts and minds are at peace as they rejoice.
Yvette is the primary caregiver of her granddaughter Brielle, and they both were able to enjoy the wonder of Christmas at the child development centre. They received a delicious Christmas lunch and Brielle received a Christmas present from her sponsor.
Words by Jean Elie Nicolas and Monique Wallace
Photo by Jean Elie Nicolas