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Festivals & Events

Festivals & Events

Public holidays in Haiti

The following are public holidays in Haiti. Many Vodou holidays are also celebrated, but are not considered public holidays.

The two most important holidays for Haitian Americans are Haitian Independence Day and Haitian Flag Day.

DateEnglish nameLocal name (in French)Remarks
January 1New Year's Day andIndependence DayNouvel an / Jour de l'an / Premier de l'aet Jour de l'IndépendanceCommemorates the day in 1804 when Jean-Jacques Dessalines declared independence and restored the country's native name.
January 2Ancestry DayJour des AieuxCommemorates ancestors and other loved ones who have died fighting for freedom.
January 6EpiphanyLe Jour des RoisCelebrates the Three Wise Men's visit to see the newborn Christ.
moveableCarnival/Mardi GrasCarnaval/Mardi Gras 
May 1Labour and Agriculture DayFête du Travail / Fête des TravailleursInternational holiday
May 18Flag and Universities' DayJour du Drapeau et de l'UniversitéCelebrates its educational system and commemorates the creation of the flagat the 1803 Arcahaye Conference.
August 15Assumption of MaryL'Assomption de MarieRoman Catholic holiday
October 17Anniversary of the death of DessalinesAnniversaire de la mort de DessalinesCommemorates the death of Jean-Jacques Dessalines.
November 1All Saints DayLa ToussaintRoman Catholic holiday; commemorates the sainthood.
November 2All Souls' DayJour des MortsRoman Catholic holiday; commemorates the faithful departed.
November 18Battle of Vertières DayVertièresCommemorates the victory over the French in the Battle of Vertières in the year 1803.
December 5Discovery DayDécouverte d'HaïtiCommemorates Christopher Columbus' landing on Hispaniola in 1492.
December 25ChristmasNoëlCelebrates the nativity of Jesus.

In addition, the following Christian holidays are celebrated but their dates vary each year.

DateNameLocal name (in French)Remarks
moveableAsh WednesdayMercredi Des Cendres 
moveableMaundy ThursdayJeudi saint 
moveableGood FridayVendredi saint 
moveableAscension DayAscensionThursday, 39 days after Easter
moveableCorpus ChristiFête-Dieu

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