Many of our customers ask us what is Kwanzaa. So I have dedicated this blog to explain this beautiful African American Holiday and it’s principles. Kwanzaa is a week-long celebration held in the United States honoring African heritage and culture, marked by participants lighting a kinara (candle holder). It is observed from December 26 to January 1 each year, primarily in the United States.
Kwanzaa consists of seven days of celebration, featuring activities such as candle-lighting and pouring of libations, and culminating in a feast and gift giving. It was created by Ron Karenga and was first celebrated from December 26, 1966, to January 1, 1967.
Kwanzaa celebrates what its founder called “The Seven Principles of Kwanzaa,” or Nguzo Saba (originally Nguzu Saba – “The Seven Principles of Blackness”), which Karenga said “is a communitarian African philosophy” consisting of what Karenga called “the best of African thought and practice in constant exchange with the world.” These seven principles comprise Kawaida, a Swahili term for tradition and reason. Each of the seven days of Kwanzaa is dedicated to one of the following principles, as follows:
1. Umoja (Unity) To strive for and to maintain unity in the family, community, nation and race.
2. Kujichagulia (Self-Determination) To define ourselves, name ourselves, create for ourselves and speak for ourselves.
3. 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.
4. Ujamaa (Cooperative Economics) To build and maintain our own stores, shops and other businesses and to profit from them together.
5. Nia (Purpose) To make our collective vocation the building and developing of our community in order to restore our people to their traditional greatness.
6. 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.
7. 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. ** Wikipedia
We at Back To Africa carry a full line of Kwanzaa products as well as African handmade gifts. You can Click Here to view our entire Kwanzaa Collection. Happy Holiday!