A lot of people know the religious and commercial aspects of Christmas but there is another holiday that is very important. It is observed for seven days from December 26th-January 1st. Kwanzaa is a weeklong celebration held in the United States honoring universal African-American heritage and culture and began in 1966.
The name Kwanzaa derives from the Swahili phrase matunda ya kwanza, meaning first fruits of the harvest. And according to wikipedia celebrates “African cultural and historical heritage by uniting in meditation and study of African traditions and Nguzu Saba, the “seven principles of blackness” which Karenga said “is a communitarian African philosophy”.
Each of the seven days of Kwanzaa is dedicated to one of the following principles, as follows:
* Umoja (Unity): To strive for and to maintain unity in the family, community, nation, and race.
* Kujichagulia (Self-Determination): To define ourselves, name ourselves, create for ourselves, and speak for ourselves.
* Ujima (Collective Work and Responsibility): To build and maintain our community together and make our brothers’ and sisters’ problems our problems, and to solve them together.
* Ujamaa (Cooperative Economics): To build and maintain our own stores, shops, and other businesses and to profit from them together.
* Nia (Purpose): To make our collective vocation the building and developing of our community in order to restore our people to their traditional greatness.
* Kuumba (Creativity): To do always as much as we can, in the way we can, in order to leave our community more beautiful and beneficial than we inherited it.
* Imani (Faith): To believe with all our heart in our people, our parents, our teachers, our leaders, and the righteousness and victory of our struggle.
Do you celebrate Kwanzaa? Please share a picture or one of your traditions with us!