How it is the second to last day of 2015 already?

It seems impossible that it is will be 2016 on friday…. that fact also means that this post is late; but not too late.

Happy Kwanzaa to everyone who is celebrating!

Because it is still Kwanzaa, I have decided to pull together a short description of what Kwanzaa is.

Kwanzaa is a cultural holiday that was created in 1966 by Dr. Maulana Karenga; his goal was to bring those with African heritage together. The celebration of Kwanzaa often includes traditional dances, feasts, readings of poetry and stories of all types. Kwanzaa lasts for seven days, and candles are usually lit at the end of each day.

Why does Kwanzaa last for seven days? Dr. Maulana Karenga created what is usually called The Seven Principles, they consist of seven things to strive for to become a better person in the African-American community. Or simply a better person in general.

  1. Umoja (Unity)
  2. Kujichagulia (Self-Determination)
  3. Ujima (Collective work and Responsibility)
  4. Ujamaa (Cooperative Economics)
  5. Nia (Purpose)
  6. Kuumba (Creativity)
  7. Imani (Faith)

Unlike most of the holidays in december, Kwanzaa is not religious. It was originally thought of as an alternative to Christmas by a few people, but that view quickly faded. The fact that Kwanzaa is a cultural rather than religious holiday is one of the wonderful aspects of it; anyone who celebrates can do so without disrupting whatever faith or traditions they believe in.

The last night of Kwanzaa takes place on January 1st; it is often called The Day of Meditation because it is a time to reflect on the past year and everything that has happened. It is also a time to think about the future and community.

I think that sounds like a pretty amazing holiday.

Funny Fact: The name ‘Kwanzaa’ comes from the Swahili phrase ‘matunda ya kwanza’ which means ‘the first fruits’.

 

*More information about Kwanzaa: The Official Kwanzaa WebsiteHistory.com History of Kwanzaa, Kwanzaa History, History of Kwanzaa, Kwanzaa: History