Meet New Friends!

Recommended friends are based on your interests. Make sure they are up to date.

Kidzworld Logo

All About Kwanzaa

Dec 25, 2014

There are lots of different cultural holidays in December, from Christmas to Hannukah, but one holiday you may not know about is Kwanzaa - a week-long celebration of African and African American history! Find out more in All About Kwanzaa!

What is Kwanzaa?

Kwanzaa is a celebration of African heritage and culture that takes place between December 26th and January 1st every year, it is mostly celebrated in North America and by people of African descent around the world. The word "kwanzaa" comes from the Swahili saying "matunda ya kwanza," which means "the first fruits of the season." The holiday was invented by Maulana Karenga, who felt that African Americans needed a holiday that celebrated their own culture and heritage during what is traditionally "the holiday season" in America. Much like other December holidays, like Christmas or Hannukah, Kwanzaa leads up to a day with of feasting and giving gifts among family members. The first Kwanzaa was celebrated in 1966.

All About KwanzaaKwanzaa is celebrated from December 26th to January 1st

How to Celebrate

To celebrate Kwanzaa people decorate their homes with colorful African cloth and art, and Kwanzaa ceremonies usually involve showing respect for ancestors. Traditional decorative Kwanzaa symbols include a decorative mat, upon which other symbols are placed: corn to represent crops, a kinara (candle holder with seven candles), a communal cup for sharing libations,gifts and sometimes a poster  of the seven principles that Karenga founded Kwanzaa on. The Seven Principles of African Heritage or "Nguzu Saba" are:

  • Umoja (Unity)
  • Kujichagulia (Self-Determination)
  • Ujima (Collective Work and Responsibility)
  • Ujamma (Sharing)
  • Nia (Purpose)
  • Kuumba (Creativity)
  • Imani (Faith)

All About KwanzaaThe Kinara holds seven candles, which each represent a different principle

Kwanzaa Quick Facts

  • Although Kwanzaa was meant as an alternative to Christmas, many people celebrate both
  • There is a documentary about Kwanzaa called The Black Candle
  • Around 2 million people in America observe Kwanzaa
  • Kwanzaa may be catching on in other countries like Brazil, Canada and Portugal
  • American Kwanzaa stamps were created in 1997 and 2004
  • Some people wear traditional African clothing to celebrate, like Dashikis and Kaftans
Have Your Say

Do you celebrate Kwanzaa? Let us know in the comments section below.



Related Stories

It’s that time of year again: Christmas, Hannukah, Kwanzaa… the holidays are a time to show famil...
There are a ton of holidays to celebrate in the month of December - that's why it's known as the ...
There are a ton of holidays to celebrate in the month of December - that's why it's known as the ...
Kwanzaa and Boxing Day fall on the same day. Find out all about both holidays in one handy story.

Does your family celebrate Kwanzaa?

  • Yes
  • No

Random In The Forums

DebM posted in Food:
 :) :) :) :) :)
reply about 1 hour
GustavoWoltmann posted in Food:
For  Gustavo Woltmann , I like Coke!
reply about 1 hour
Judy, in it's Judy's life! Regards, Gustavo Woltmann 
reply about 2 hours
Abbergrl posted in Food:
Someone's brain... or I tried to by being a pain but it turned out the other way round lol.
reply about 2 hours
jordand08 posted in Debating:
"Wishyouweremehehe" wrote: "AlphaT" wrote: "Pink_Cool_Girl" wrote:   Women should be able to choose what they want. Trump thinks people should be punished for abortion. He doesn't give a sh*t for women.  We can both agree that women should not have the right to kill their children when they're toddlers, so when is the right of the mother to determine the life of the child taken away?  women should have a right to choose an abortion up until the term in its pregnancy when it can actually sense itself which is about 6 months old, and guess what you cant actually abort a baby after 6 months in clinics so its not a big deal ADVERTISEMENT If Hillary wins, itll be a big deal. She can/will legalize it to be whenever the mother chooses. No. That's not fair. A baby didn't choose to come into this world, you (the parent) put them in it.  You can't be like "oh, I don't think I'll be a good parent even though it's 7 months into my pregnancy." And think abortion is a rational decision.
reply about 4 hours