In Haiti, Independence Day comes on New Year’s Day, every 1 January, and 2 January simply extends these festivities in the public holiday called Founders’ Day.
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Founders’ Day pays tribute to those who fought and died during the war for independence from France. The first day, then, remembers the declaration of independence, while the second day remembers the fight that ensued as a result of that declaration.
Haiti was first colonised by Spain, after being discovered by Christopher Columbus in 1492. But in 1697, it was ceded to France under the Treaty of Ryswick. The colony soon became a centre of slavery, and in 1791, the slaves finally revolted and began the war for independence against France.
Thirteen years later, in 1804, France finally recognised Haiti as a free country. The war also resulted in the immediate abolition of slavery throughout Haiti.
There are many events and much celebration on Founders’ Day in Haiti, but the main event of the day is the military parades that take place all over the country.