Here are 10 Facts about Kwanzaa
you may not know:
1. Around 18 million African-Americans
celebrate Kwanzaa (Quansa). Kwanzaa is not a substitute for Christmas
. This is a celebration of the African American
people, their culture, and their history.
2. It was started in 1966 by Doctor Maulana Karenga
, Professor at the California State University, Long Beach
3. It takes place December 26th – January 1st.
4. The colors of Kwanzaa are black, red and green. These colors predominate in the decorating of homes, along with baskets, cloths and harvest symbols.
5. There are 7 principles of Kwanzaa: Unity, Self-Determination
, Collective work and responsibility, cooperative economics, purpose, creativity and faith. Each day of Kwanzaa is represented by a different principle.
6. A candle is lit on each day of the holiday and placed on the kinara. The
first candle is black, symbolizing the African American people. The next three are red, representing the struggles of the black people
. Next are three green candles, which symbolize hope for the future. The candles are lit from left to right.
7. The high point of the holiday is on the last day where a feast is made.
This feast is called, karamu.
8. The name Kwanzaa derives from the Swahili
phrase matunda ya kwanza
meaning first fruits of the harvest.
9. The last day of Kwanzaa, or Imani, focuses on gift giving as a means to
honor the creative spirit and reaffirm self worth. In following this tradition,
the gifts are often homemade rather than purchased.
10. This is a beautiful celebration where ceremonies and cultural expressions