Kwanzaa is a celebration held in the United States for a week long to honor universal heritage and culture of African-American, it is observed from December 26 to January 1 every year. Their distinguished activity is like lighting a candle holder with 7 beautiful candles and end with a feast & gift giving. It was a creation of Maulana Karenga and it was first celebrated in the year 1966 - 1967. The year 2015 will be the 51th annual Kwanzaa.
History of Kwanzaa
Kwanzaa’s roots are seen in the ‘Black Nationalist’ movement of the year 1960s, and it was established to help the African Americans re-connect with the African cultural and historical heritage by way of uniting in meditation and study of Africa’s traditions and Nguzu Saba, the "7 principles of blackness".
The seven Principles of Kwanzaa are the following:
- umoja which means unity, its aim is to build a community that holds together
- kujichagulia meaning self-determination, its aim is to speak for yourself and make choices that benefit the community
- ujima meaning responsibility and work done collectively, it aims at helping others within the community.
- ujamaa meaning cooperative economics, aiming at supporting businesses that care about the community
- nia which means a sense of purpose, which aims at setting goals that benefit the community
- kuumba which means creativity, aiming at making the community better and more beautiful.
- imani which means faith, it aims is to believe that a better world can be created for communities now and in the future
Decorations are done with red, black, and green colors along with African style of textiles and art and crafts. Moreover, the seven symbols used are:
- kikombe cha umoja which means the unity cup
- kinara which means the candleholder.
- Mazao which means fruits, nuts, and vegetables
- mishumaa saba which means the seven candles which represent the 7 principles
- mkeka which means mat
- vibunzi which means ear of corn
- zawadi which means gifts
kwanzaa Decorations Ideas
History of Good Friday
Colours used are green, black and red. While decorating your house, one should stick to things which are African in design and represents the culture of African-American people. Mixing African arts and fabrics with colored ribbons, candles, and flowers is a great idea. The Kinara as well as the other symbols of Kwanzaa should be dominating the room, also given an African motif to the room. This can be easily achieved and does not result in too much expense.
The colors of Kwanzaa should be kept in mind while decorating the house. Black, red and green balloons, streamers, cloth, flowers, and African prints can be used to hang tastefully all around the room. Original and traditional art and sculptures can also be displayed. In a true African motif that has black, red, and green colour schemes, it is very important to decorate the place where the Karamu will begin. A huge Mkeka should be kept in the centre of the floor where the food will be placed creatively and should be made accessible to all.