Celebrating Kwanzaa | History and More

What is Kwanzaa… you may have heard the name of this holiday before, but have you looked into its meaning and history? We would love to dive into the history of this holiday with you all today.


Kwanzaa History

The name Kwanzaa is derived from the phrase “matunda ya kwanza” which means “first fruits” in Swahili. Each family celebrates Kwanzaa in its own way, but celebrations often include songs and dances, African drums, storytelling, poetry reading, and a large traditional meal. On each of the seven nights, the family gathers and a child lights one of the candles on the Kinara (candleholder), then one of the seven principles is discussed. The principles, called the Nguzo Saba (seven principles in Swahili) are values of African culture which contribute to building and reinforcing community among African-Americans. Kwanzaa also has seven basic symbols which represent values and concepts reflective of African culture. An African feast, called a Karamu, is held on December 31.

The candle-lighting ceremony each evening provides the opportunity to gather and discuss the meaning of Kwanzaa. The first night, the black candle in the center is lit (and the principle of umoja/unity is discussed). One candle is lit each evening and the appropriate principle is discussed.

Source: History.com


Celebrating Kwanzaa

If you’ve never celebrated the holiday before (or you have but want to learn even more), you’ve come to the right place. Here are a few ways you can celebrate Kwanzaa. – Cosmopolitan


Kwanzaa Recipes & Menus

“Make this year’s Kwanzaa celebration a treat with delicious traditional recipes and menus. Our Kwanzaa recipes serve a crowd so you can celebrate with your whole family,” Better Homes & Gardens. In addition, here are some more recipes from the Food Network.


We want to share with you all a quote from Maya Angelou in celebration of Kwanzaa and its history.

We all should know that diversity makes for a rich tapestry, and we must understand that all the threads of the tapestry are equal in value no matter what their color.


To all celebrating, we hope you have the most marvelous of holidays!

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