Today (December 26) is the first day of Kwanzaa.
Greeting: Habari gani!
Response: Umoja! (oo-MOH-jah)
On the first day of Kwanzaa the black candle, the center candle, is lit in the Kinara (candle holder). The black candle represents the first of the seven principles of Kwanzaa, Umoja which means Unity.
The person who lights the candle makes a statement about the principle and its meaning. Sometimes a passage or poem is read relating to what the principle means and how it relates to their life.
Then the kikombe cha umoja (unity cup) might be filled with fruit juice and shared among those gathered. Each person is supposed to drink from the cup and pass it to the next person.
For sanitary reasons some families simply pass the cup from one person to the next. Other families prefer to use a Unity cup for each member, or the cup can just be left in the center of the Kwanzaa table.
After the sharing of the Unity cup the candles are extinguished till the next day.