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What is Kwanzaa?

12/07/2008 13:16

Do you regularly celebrate Kwanzaa or is it something you're trying for the first time this year? Maybe you're curious. Kwanzaa is an exciting way to celebrate Africa and the blessings of diversity, and it's something that the whole family can enjoy. Kwanzaa doesn't replace Christmas. You can have both. It doesn't take a lot of time and effort, and it is about celebrating what you already have. You don't have to buy anything! Sure, you can get a Kwanzaa set, but celebrating the basic ideas of Kwanzaa doesn't require any purchase. Kwanzaa literally means "first fruits of the harvest" in the African language Kiswahili. The holiday is a time when Africans and African Americans can get together to give thanks, and enjoy the blessings of living and acting together as a family. The celebration starts on December 26th and continues through January 1st. During the Kwanzaa celebration you celebrate the Nguso Zaba (seven guiding principles). You celebrate one principle for each day of Kwanzaa. 

The Seven Guiding Principles (Nguso Zaba):

 Day 1 - Umoja: Unity 

Day 2 - Kujihagulia: Self-Determination

 Day 3 - Ujima: Responsibility 

Day 4 - Ujamaa: Cooperative Economics

 Day 5 - Nia: Purpose 

Day 6 - Kuumba: Creativity 

Day 7 - Imani: Faith 

One of the most vital parts of Kwanzaa is the lighting ceremony, which is normally performed by the youth. The youth light one candle each day of Kwanzaa until all seven have been lit. After the candle is lit, the principle of the day is discussed. Kwanzaa is a spiritual, festive celebration of the unity and goodness of life, which claims no ties to any religion. Kwanzaa is a way of life; not just a celebration. It is a week of remembering, reassessing, recommitting, rewarding, and rejoicing. Find out more about Kwanzaa and how you can celebrate it in all its fullness by Clicking Here Kwanzaa yenu we na heri! (HAPPY KWANZAA) You can find many more free articles about African traditions and people by going to the Africa Imports web site and looking at the 'Free Articles' section. Just go to or Click Here to be directed to the articles now.