Culture Haiti

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Amy Adejokun
Amy Adejokun Expert destination Haïti

Haiti : Discover the country's culture


Toto Bissainthe Chante Haiti.
Haiti: music by Vaudou and Pierre Cheriza. (Buda music).

Haiti : Discover the country's history

Historical dates

Under the leadership of General Jean-Jacques Dessalines, the island becomes the first black independent republic after the reroute of the French army, in 1804. A beginning full of promises, but two years later, the General who had set himself as emperor is assassinated. The beginning of a long period of political unrest. After an strict economic check carried out by the US occupant at the beginning of the 20th century, four presidents are successively overthrown by coups d'etat in the space of ten years, until 1966. Since then, Haiti has unfortunately suffered instability marked by dictatorships, uprisings, rigged elections and the overthrow of rulers.

1492: Christopher Columbus lands on the island and names it Isla Espanola
1659: Beginning of French colonisation
1804: Haiti becomes independent
1843: Birth of the Dominican Republic after separating from the eastern part of the island.
1915: The beginning of the United States' occupation of the island
1957: The doctor François Duvalier ('Papa Doc') comes to power after rigged elections. He is supported by the army. His son, called 'Bébé Doc' becomes President for life, after his father's death, in 1971.
1990: Jean Bertrand Aristide is elected President, then overthrown a year later by a military coup d'etat.
1996: René Preval, close to Aristide, becomes President.
2000: Aristide is again elected President after a voting polls boycotted by the opposition. Reprisals against its opponents start a year later.
2003: Trouble starts to get more intense after the assassination of the chief of an armed group, in September
2004: An armed insurrection, supported by former servicemen, starts on February 5. Violence increases; the opposition demands the President's resignation while he re-affirmed his wish to stay head of government until the end of his term, in 2006. Rebels control half of the country. February 29, Aristide resigns from his functions, the Haitian opposition accepts the international settlement plan. That same day, the president of Haiti's Supreme Court Boniface Alexandre insures the function of acting President, as it is writen in the Constitution. The UN Security Council votes for a resolution enabling international troops to be sent immediately to Haiti in order to help the country get stabilised. On March 10, Gérard Latortue, a new Haitian Prime Minister arrives.

Haiti : Stay up to date on the country's holidays and events


January 1: New Year's Day and Independence.
January 2: Ancestors' Day.
February 24: Carnival.
April 9: Holy Friday.
April 14: America's Day.
May 1: Labour Day.
May 18: Flag and University Day.
May 20: Ascension.
May 22: National Sovereign Day.
June 10: Corpus Christi.
August 15: Assumption.
October 17: Anniversary of the Dessalines' death, emperor of Haiti.
October 24: Anniversary of the United Nations Charter.
November: All Saints' Day.
November 2: Day of the Dead.
November 18: Army Forces Day.
December 5: Day of the discovery of Haiti in 1492.
December 25: Christmas.

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