This week we celebrate Kwanzaa. It was created in 1966 and is celebrated each year from December 26 - January 1. Kwanzaa (notice the extra ‘a’) means “first fruits”.
Kwanzaa pays homage to harvest festivals and was designed to unite and uplift the Black community. It is not anti-Christmas, as a matter of fact, Kwanzaa is non-religious and non-political. Families and friends gather each day of the week of Kwanzaa to celebrate one of the seven Principles of Kwanzaa (Nguzo Saba).
Gather all of the Kwanzaa symbols and other items needed for the next seven days.
Symbols of Kwanzaa:
+ Kinara (candleholder)
+ Mkeka (mat)
+ Mishumaa saba (7 candles: (1) black, (3) red, and (3) green)
+ Kikombe cha umoja (unity cup)
+ Muhindi (ears of corn) or vibunzi - one ear of corn
+ Mazao (crops)
+ Zawadi (gifts)
There are two optional symbols:
+ Bandera Ya Taifa (red, black and green flag)
+ Poster of the Nguzo Saba (seven principles)
These items are not symbols but you will need them also:
+ Lighter or portable flame to light the candles
+ Water or other beverage for libations and the unity cup
+ Extra candles, especially the black candle.
+ Table covering
Do not feel compelled to have all of these items in order to celebrate Kwanzaa. Be creative. If you do not have a kinara, then create your own. Use your imagination. when my alumni association chapter started celebrating Kwanzaa in 1989 in Miami, we used drawings of the Kwanzaa symbols. Do not allow anything to prevent the education and uplift of our people. Where there’s a will there’s a way.