Monday, December 26, 2011

Kwanzaa begins

Happy Kwanzaa! 

Kwanzaa begins MondayDecember 26, 2011, and ends Sunday,January 1, 2012.

The word "Kwanzaa" comes from the Swahili language and means "first fruits".

The African-American holiday was first established in 1966 and mainly celebrated in the United States.

The Seven Principles of Kwanzaa

1. umoja - to maintain unity in the family and community

2. kujichagulia - self-determination, to be responsible and speak for oneself

3. ujima - collective work and responsibility, to build and maintain a community

4. ujamaa - economic co-operation, to help and profit one another

5. nia - purpose, to build and develop the community for the benefit of the people

6. kuumba - creativity, to do everything possible to leave the community more beautiful and beneficial for future generations

7. imani - faith, to believe in parents, teachers and leaders.

The colours red, green and black, representing the African flag, are used.

A candle is lit each day on the "kimara", to represent each of the seven principles. 

The kimara is placed on a traditional straw mat, and one ear of corn is also placed on the mat for each child in the family. 

A fruit basket, called a "mazao", is also displayed, along with a special "unity" cup, out of which everyone drinks. 

Families decorate their homes with traditional African crafts.

 © Diane Chase, author of Adirondack Family Time: Tri-Lakes and High Peaks (Your Four-Season Guide to Over 300 Activities) for the towns of Lake Placid, Saranac Lake, Jay/Upper Jay, Wilmington, Keene/Keene Valley which is available online or bookstores/museums/sporting good stores. Diane is currently working on the second guidebook in the four-book series of Adirondack Family Activities.

1 comment:

US 2012 election novel said...

An insightful blog on Kwanzaa.Best wishes for your future posts. Asante sana.