Cheers to Traditions

It all started when my godfather messaged me a picture of a picture of me and a cousin that I have not spoken to in years. Last time we spoke, I was 12 and she was moving to a new city. Years later, I am miles away from home and the only things I remember of her are the traditions we share. In this festive time, I am miles away from my family but the memories of the traditions we hold dear, warm my heart. The traditions we share, disregard our distance in miles and praise our family bond.

My cousin and I (right to left)

To be fair, New Year’s eve and New Year’s day are full on and respectively so Haitian Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Every store is open 24/7 with full on speaker blasting Haitian classic music. Most adults are hanging out on their porch, blasting music, and exchanging “good old times” stories with their neighbors while others get ready for church. Children are given money to purchase fireworks, firecrackers, and everything else that brings joy to the naive mind. We ran around from house to house, from streets to streets, pointing at stars and blasting firecrackers with laughter so deep, it probably pleased gods’ souls.

On New Years’ Day, we woke up to a house full of pumpkin soup, a century ( if not more) old tradition that requires each family to make pumpkin soup on New Years’ day and to share the meal with everyone. To elaborate, you make pumpkin soup at your house and send a bowl to every single neighbor. At the end of the day, you ended up with your soup and bowls of soup from every friend, neighbor, or family. Pumpkin soup for days…but it went down fast.

Cheers to Traditions! I am not home but I know my cousins are laughing, my grandma is telling stories on the porch, my aunt is getting ready for church, mother is for sure drunk or about to get drunk, and everything is already purchased for the pumpkin soup. I am not home but I know that my cousins are having the same experiences as I and when I returned we will laugh deeply. I am not home but the memories of the traditions we share makes me feel at home. So cheer on Haitians, cheer on and happy New Year!

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