1. Education
Send to a Friend via Email
You can opt-out at any time. Please refer to our privacy policy for contact information.

What is Kwanzaa?

Facts About Kwanzaa

By

Also Called: Kwanzaa means first fruits.

Definition: It's an African American celebration observed from December 26th through January 1st. It was developed by Dr. Maulana Karenga in 1966 as a way to celebrate and promote the African American culture. Kwanzaa focuses on seven principles namely unity, self-determination, collective work and responsibility, cooperative economics, purpose, creativity and faith.

Celebrating Kwanzaa: Candles in a Kinara are lit for each day of the celebration. A black candle is lit on the first day; it symbolizes the people. To the left of the black candle are three red candles representing their struggles. To the right of the black candles are three green candles which represents hope and the future. The candles are lit from left to right for each day of the celebration. Greetings in Swahili are also exchanged each day of the celebration. The question "Habari gani?" is asked and the answer will be the principle being celebrated on that day (unity, self-determination, collective work and responsibility, cooperative economics, purpose, creativity and faith).

Kwanzaa Songs: Sound clips are available from Songs for Teaching

Related Website: More information from The Official Kwanzaa Website.

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.