December 27, 2010
Kwanzaa is a celebration in the United States to honor African-American heritage and culture. It is a weeklong celebration that runs from December 26th - January 1 each year. The festival includes activities such as lighting a candleholder called a kinara. The seven candles in the kinara represent each of the seven principles of Kwanzaa, and a different candle is lit on each day of the celebration. The seven principles are: Unity, Self-Determination, Collective Work and Responsibility, Cooperative Economics, Purpose, Creativity, and Faith.
Kwanzaa was first celebrated in 1966, and was created by Dr. Maulana Karenga, professor and chairman of Black Studies at California State University. He established Kwanzaa as a way to bring African-Americans together as a community and to help them reconnect with their African cultural and historical heritage. While he originally intended for it to be an alternative to Christmas, in more recent years he modified its intention, and now Kwanzaa is celebrated by many Christian African-Americans in addition to Christmas. The name of the holiday comes from "matunda ya kwanzaa," a Swahili phrase meaning "first fruits of the harvest." This year's celebration of Kwanzaa will be the 44th one. Read more about Kwanzaa on the official website.
Colbern Road Branch