Skip to content
Join our Newsletter

Haitian Independence Day to Be Celebrated with Free Soup Joumou on Jan. 1

Free soup joumou will be on offer at more than eight different places in NYC this Haitian Independence Day
Soup joumou. Photo: L?a-Kim Ch?teauneuf/Wikimedia.

As part of its Ayiti Nou La Toujou Haitian Independence celebration, Life of Hope Center in East Flatbush will be serving free soup joumou on Jan. 1, Haitian Times reports.

The traditional soup will be handed out at 2 p.m. at the organization's office at 710 E. 37th St., in time for those celebrating to get home and tune into a virtual celebration show streaming via Facebook Live at 5 p.m.

The virtual show includes recorded messages from political and religious leaders, including Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams, Public Advocate Jumaane Williams, assembly members Rodneyse Bichotte and Mathylde Frontus, Councilmember Farah Louis and Rev. Juan Luxama. Performers include Brooklyn-based jazz and Haitian roots band Alegba and Friends , the Bloodline Dance Theatre Co. and artist Jess Lamarre.

Life of Hope Executive Director Porez Luxama said January 1 represented liberty and freedom to Haitians and the world.

"That's what our founders fought for, not just for Haiti, but for Black people to be free around the world."

Haitians have consumed soup joumou since the Republic's founding in 1804 to celebrate and commemorate the country's freedom from French rule, as prior to 1804 the soup was reserved as a delicacy for white enslavers. It is a hearty pumpkin soup typically made with other ground provisions, potato and beef.

At least eight other Haitian restaurants in New York City are also serving the complimentary soup on Haitian Independence Day, thanks to a $10,000 donation given in partnership between a Haitian-led staffing agency and Assemblymember Diana Richardson.

Richardson said the soup was significant in marking the triumph over slavery, and after the year that we have endured, the soup would also be offered as a token of good luck.

"We're going to be giving out that token of warmth and love," Richardson said. "Any time that we can really celebrate culture and heritage, but be intentional about it, is a moment for us all to come together."

A number of organizations have partnered in the giveaway, including Fidelis Care, Aetna, Big Apple Walk-in Urgent Care, New York Avenue Medical Group, Dorlette Brokerage and Grafiti Tax. Partners donated money and helped find participating Haitian restaurants in Brooklyn, Queens and Long Island.

Here is where to get free soup joumou this Haitian Independence Day:

  • Brooklyn
    • Dana Caribbean Cuisine, 2026 Nostrand Ave., Brooklyn
    • Fritaille Five Star Restaurant, 1347 Flatbush Ave., Brooklyn
    • Kache Restaurant, 2192 Flatbush Ave., Brooklyn
    • Kal's Bakery, 3401 Church Ave., Brooklyn
    • Zanmi Restaurant, 1206 Nostrand Ave., Brooklyn
  • Queens & Long Island