Kwanzaa is a week-long celebration of African heritage, first celebrated in 1966, that is observed from December 26 to January 1. According to Maulana Karenga, the creator of the celebration, “Kwanzaa” means “first fruits of the harvest” and is a way for African Americans to connect with their African cultural heritage.
Kwanzaa allows participants to respect their traditions, to feel spiritually grounded, to respect their ancestors, connect to the environment, cherish their children, to feel spiritually grounded, and embrace the good of the world.
The 7 days of Kwanzaa celebrate 7 principles:
December 26 — Umoja (Unity)
December 27 — Kujichagulia (Self-Determination)
December 28 — Ujima (Collective Work and Responsibility)
December 29 — Ujamaa (Cooperative Economics)
December 30 — Nia (Purpose)
December 31 — Kuumba (Creativity)
January 1 — Imani (Faith)
This Kwanzaa card by Greeting Card Universe artist DerocherArt shows the 7 principles of Kwanzaa, one principle per candle. The colors and artwork perfectly depict this wonderful holiday.
The symbols of Kwanzaa that speak to the 7 principles are: crops, a decorative mat, a shared cup for beverages, a candle holder with seven candles, gifts, a poster of the seven principles, and a black, red, and green flag. It is also customary to decorate the house with colorful cloth, art, and fresh fruit.
While it was traditional at first to celebrate only Kwanzaa to avoid diluting the importance of the holiday, many families now incorporate other holidays, such as Christmas and New Year.
Join the Greeting Card Universe Kwanzaa Pinterest Board for ideas on celebrating this holiday.
We wish you a Joyous Kwanzaa!