Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?


“Haitian Santa” Lionel Benjamin is coming to Florida, bringing his cheerful Abdenwèl

The Haitian Times
By Onz Chery

Lionel Benjamin singing
Lionel Benjamin singing at the Haitian government’s end of the year holidays celebration on Dec. 23, 2021. Photo via The Prime Minister’s Office Twitter account

MIRAMAR — Lionel Benjamin recalls the holiday season of years past well. In Port-au-Prince at night, the streets glowed with strings of colorful Christmas lights, specialty lanterns called fanals and candles that sparkled through the capital’s smog. His hit song, Abdenwèl, Creole for Christmas tree, set the holiday mood too for many a reveler.

Benjamin vividly remembers the shrieks of elation from the audience during Christmas shows at the Rex Theater, as he crooned the ditty.

Touched by the ambiance, as he calls it, Benjamin vowed to never spend a Christmas outside of Haiti. But this year, the singer dubbed as the “Le Père Noël Haïtien,” French for The Haitian Santa Clauswill spend Christmas away for the second time ever. This time, due to the ongoing violence in Haiti, he said.

To view the full story, please subscribe to The Haitian Times. You can choose a $60 Annual Subscription or a $5 Weekly Pass.

When you join The Haitian Times family, you’ll get unlimited digital access to high-quality journalism about Haiti and Haitians you won’t get anywhere else. We’ve been at this for 20 years and pride ourselves on representing you, our diaspora experience and a holistic view of Haiti that larger media doesn’t show you. 

Join now or renew to get:
— Instant access to one-of-kind stories and special reports 
— Local news from our communities (especially New York and Florida)
— Profiles of Haitians at the top of their fields
— Downloadable lists and resources about Haitian culture 
— Membership merch, perks and special invitations 

First-time subscribers also receive a special welcome gift handmade in Haiti by expert artisans! Do it for the culture and support Black-owned businesses.

If you’re seeing this message but you’re already a subscriber, you can log in for immediate access to this story.

Use your ← → (arrow) keys to browse

Written By


Read The Current Issue

Texas Metro News


You May Also Like


The Haitian Times By MURDITH JOSEPH PORT-AU-PRINCE — On the one-year anniversary of his ascension as Haiti’s interim Prime Minister, Ariel Henry said he is...


The Haitian By Jo Haselhoef As cryptocurrency makes the rounds across the globe, its buzz has reached Haiti in the form of donations and...


By Onz Chery CAP-HAITIEN — David Saint-Juste’s voice started shrieking through the phone as if he was about to cry, but somehow he managed...


The Haitian By Onz Chery CAP-HAITIEN — In the days after an international community meeting held in France ended with members insisting on a Haitian-led solution...