Soup Joumou - Haitian Soup of FREEDOM

"Perhaps we Haitians should tell the whole world that being the FIRST BLACK NATION is no walk in the park and we have the scars to prove it."

Soup Joumou, Haitian Freedom Soup
Soup Joumou, Haitian Freedom Soup

- Woodring Saint Preux -

On January 12 2010, more than 300,000 Haitians died in less than 35 seconds... On January 1st 2011, every Haitian household, whether in a permanent home or under a tent, will be making, drinking, and sharing some Soup Joumou. It is a symbol of our strength... Haiti will survive!

It is not a coincidence that "Soup Joumou" is consumed in every Haitian household all over the world on January 1st of every year.

This symbol is the last symbol of unity and freedom we have left.

  • We make Soup Joumou every New Year...
  • We eat Soup Joumou every New Year...
  • We share Soup Joumou every New Year...
  • We do it EVERY JANUARY 1st of every New Year in order to remember our past, our struggle for FREEDOM, and our ongoing fight to remain free.

What better way to celebrate the New Year than with the very soup that we were not allowed to drink as slaves?

The most important New Year Celebration in Haitians history is New Year's Day, January 1, 1804.

We fought for nearly thirteen years before this day so that we could initiate this symbol of freedom for ALL slaves ALL over the world.

Before 1804, A Haitian slave was NOT allowed to touch Joumou, a delicious and aromatic pumpkin that was a favorite for her white French master.

Haitian Slave Diet: He/She was to eat one ounce of salted meat or fish and one bottle of lemonade per day.

When our ancestors finally kicked the French out of the island, The Party was on!

We fought the French and we won!

Place: Gonaives, Haiti
Nickname: City of Independence
Date: Sunday, January 1st 1804

On Sunday January 1, 1804, the Haitian slaves of yesterday started gathering at dawn at the "Place d'Armes de Gonaives".

it was there that Jean Jacques Dessalines mounted the Autel de la Patrie to speak.

He made his speach in Kreyol so everyone could understand him.

"Liberte ou la Mort!"
"Long live independence!"

Jean Jacques Dessalines declared that Haitians would forever live free and die free.

"Cannons were fired, church bells rung, people cheered, and, they say kettles of fragrant soup joumou perfumed the air, ready to be ladled up in a mass communion."

Soup Joumou
Tradition, Symbolism, or just a plain old habit?

Lately, the consumption of soup joumou has become just an old habit for Haitians. It seams we have forgotten its true history and purpose.

Soup Joumou - This soup was the touchstone of Haiti's fervent wish for peace and freedom

Soup Joumou was a symbol of communion and brotherhood

Perhaps we should re-attach the symbolism of independence to the oldest Haitian Tradition - a goold old bold of delicious soup joumou.

Perhaps we should tell the story.

Perhaps we should let the whole world know that we drink this soup on the first day of every year because once upon a time, we were NOT allowed to drink it.

Perhaps we should let the whole world know that we are FREE and independent because once upon a time, we were not allowed to be FREE.

On January 1st, 2004,
Haitians celebrated 200 years of freedom.
200 years of misery!

Perhaps we - Haitians - should tell the whole world that being the FIRST BLACK NATION is no walk in the park and we have the scars to prove it.

on January 1, 2004, we once again made, drunk, and shared some Soup Joumou.

It was the 200th serving of the most delicious soup on earth, our Haitian "Soup of FREEDOM".

You want to know how much Haitians love Haiti?
You want to know how much we love to be FREE
Just try to take it away from us!

  • They may have all the money,
  • they may have all the gold,
  • they may rob us,
  • kill us,
  • torture us,
  • pretend we don't exist,
  • but...
  • there are a few things they will never take away from us...
  • Our freedom and all the records we broke in history

Symbolism or not...

The Americans, the FIRST FREE country in the west) eat their turkey for Thanksgiving...

We Haitians (FIRST BLACK Nation in the world), we drink our soup joumou in our INDEPENDENCE DAY.

Happy Anniversary... and Happy New year!

Woodring Saint Preux

P.S. Do we "eat" or do we "drink" soup joumou?

Resources an credits: DiscoverHaiti.com, HaitiXchange.com, SoupSong.com

Reply to this article  (39)

Tags: People, History, Holidays

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All Comments (39)

Linda says...

amen I love soup joumou a lot cause is my cultures thing and i cant stay 1 year without eating it it is so goo who ever never try it

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Mizikpam says...

Checkout the brand New Mizikpam Internet Radio for your favorite Haitian Tunes

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Luciana says...

How come most Haitien don't remember why and what Jesus our Lord did for us. Whish is more than anything in this planet.

What He endure, no one was Abel to go through it, we are sinners, He did nothing.

He was crush beating spat on. He died for our sin and yet lot of Haitien business work on good Friday, that not freedom our our Creator gave us that freedom.

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Tigeorges says...

Let's start planting trees that bear fruits in Haïti. guarantee in five years we can curb

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Paul Bance says...

Haiti should plant more pumpkins in all departments to sell to the USA> Canada, etc., everywhere Haitians are living.

The pumpkins can make some good soups and pie. Pumpkin pie is an excellent dessert and pumpkin soup is very delicious and healthy.

Develop agriculture, plant more onions, carrots, cabbage, celery, turnips, spinach, etc. Those vegetables make good pumpkin soups with

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Phil Boucard says...

Thank you to Woodring for a great article.

Every year, I invite my friends from other islands to share my soup joumou.

Now we have soup joumou parties every January 1st.To get her Independence, Haiti didn't just beat the French, we also beat their allies: Germany, US, Poland, Spain, Britain, as I wrote in my book: "My Journey into Reality" available at

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Sherine says...

I'm Jamaican and when I read this, it brought me to place of gratitude and pride.

When you say if you want to know if Haitians love Haiti, then take away their freedom, those are some powerful words.

If only other people of color would approach their heritage the way Haitians do.

Thank you so

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Richard says...

I love the article.

I myself am in a quest to share our beautiful culture with the rest of the world.

I love your picture.

Can I use it?

Please email me your answer.

Thanks in advance.

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Deb Marabou Facebook says...

WOW!!! Thanks for this link. By coincidence my daughter and I were just discussing on this topic, She was asking me about the meaning of Soup Joumou and my answer to her was that its an old tradition that I grew up with and I just tend to follow it because of old habits and tradition, but by her reading on through this link she had a full understanding and I myself just had a revision of my Haitian History.

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Jean Miche says...

Thank you so much for the article

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