December 26th – January 1st
It is about time we put together inspiration for Kwanzaa party planning, ideas & supplies. We are long overdue and sincerely apologize for this oversight.
THE MEANING OF KWANZAA
courtesy of Tea Collection
Kwanzaa is an African-American tradition that’s celebrated from December 26th through January 1st. It’s a fairly modern tradition that was founded by Dr. Maulana Karenga, a California State University professor, in 1966. Kwanzaa is Swahili for “first fruits” and symbolizes the first fruits of harvest. The celebration of Kwanzaa focuses on seven core principles, which each stand for an important African principle that reinforces community among African-Americans.
During the celebration, families light seven candles that are placed in a kinara. Each candle represents one of the core principles, which in Swahili are called “Nguzo Saba”. On the first day of Kwanzaa, families light the black candle, which represents unity (umoja). Each following day, one candle is lit and placed in the kinara. The green candles stand for self-determination (kujchagulia), collective work and responsibility (ujima) and cooperative economics (Ujanima). The red candles stand for purpose (nia), creativity (kuumba) and faith (imani). During Kwanzaa, children also receive gifts of books and symbols.
The books represent the value of learning and the symbols are meant to remind the child of their commitment to African traditions. The final day of Kwanzaa is a time for families to reflect and is meant for inward contemplation. The celebration of Kwanzaa isn’t religious, but is actually a tribute to African ancient cultural traditions and values. It’s a holiday structured on remembrance and culture awareness. Continue Reading →