What is Kwanzaa?

Macaroni Celebrates

By Cynthia Yapp, Publisher Macaroni Kid Hialeah November 27, 2019
Have you ever wondered exactly to what “holidays” we refer to when we say “Happy Holidays” this time of year? Well, I did… I figured there must be more to it than Hanukkah, Christmas and New Years. Someone mentioned Kwanzaa the other day, so I had to look it up. I found out that it is a celebration of African heritage and was first celebrated in 1966 and is observed December 26-January 1.
Kwanzaa celebrates seven principles: Unity, Self-Determination, Collective Work and Responsibility, Cooperative Economics, Purpose, Creativity, and Faith. It also has seven basic symbols and two supplemental symbols. Crops, Mat, Candle Holder, Ear of Corn, Seven Candles, Unity Cup, and Gifts are the basic symbols and The Flag and Poster are supplemental.

Each day one of the candles in the candle holder (kinara) is lit. Each candle represents one of the seven symbols, as well as being symbolic of African gods.

To find out more about the seven principles, what the seven symbols mean or more about the kinara, check out these resources:

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