Chic African Culture Africa Factbook

Kwanzaa Is Meant to Help You Start the New Year Off Right

Kwanzaa Is Meant to Help You Start the New Year off Right Kwanzaa

Umoja (oo-MO-jah) means Unity

Kujichagulia (koo-jee-chah-GOO-lee-ah) means Self-Determination

Ujima (oo-jah-MAH) means Collective Work and Responsibility

Ujamaa (U-jay-ma) means Cooperative Economics

Nia (NEE-ah) means Purpose

Kuumba (koo-OOM-bah) means Creativity

Imani (ee-MAH-nee) means Faith



Kwanzaa is meant to help you start the New Year off right. A new year inspires renewed energy and excitement for what could happen. Kwanzaa's seven principles of unity, self-determination, collective work and responsibility, cooperative economics, purpose, creativity, and faith fit right into the New Year resolutions wish list.

Beginning December 26 and lasting for seven days until the first day of the New Year, Kwanzaa is a celebration of everyone's community, family, and culture.

History of Kwanzaa: each of the seven days of Kwanzaa is dedicated to one of seven principles. The colors of Kwanzaa are black, red, and green; Black for the people, red for their struggle, and green for the future and success that comes from their struggle.

Seven Principles of Kwanzaa

Kwanzaa's seven principles are the Nguzo Saba (n-GU-zo SAH-bah).

Dr. Maulana Karenga introduced Kwanzaa in 1966 to the Africans of the American diaspora as a ceremonial celebration to welcome the first fruit harvests in the Americas. Dr. Karenga created Kwanzaa “to introduce and reinforce seven basic values of African culture which contribute to the building and reinforcing of family, community, and culture among African American people as well as Africans throughout the world African community.”

Kwanzaa

Kwanzaa is a seven-day celebration of family, community, and culture. Kwanzaa is not an African Christmas celebration; Kwanzaa is not a religious holiday, nor is it meant to replace Christmas. The colors of Kwanzaa are black, red, and green. Kwanzaa is a seven-day celebration that begins on December 26 and ends on January 1.

Kwanzaa has seven symbols representing the values reflective of a peaceable world known as the Nguzo Saba. The seven principles of Kwanzaa are unity, self-determination, collective work and responsibility, cooperative economics, purpose, creativity, and faith. The name Kwanzaa is derived from the Swahili term "matunda ya kwanza", which means first fruits. Kwanzaa is based on African harvest celebrations.

What is Kwanzaa? People of many faiths, cultures, and ethnic backgrounds celebrate Kwanzaa. Kwanzaa is a time for all communities to celebrate ancestry, African culture, future and past endeavors, and virtues. Kwanzaa is a positive force in all communities, respecting beloved ancestors and elders for their wisdom, knowledge, sacrifice, and fortitude.

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