Happy Kwanzaa

(2 pm. – promoted by ek hornbeck)

Thursday began the start of the seven day festival of Kwanzaa, a celebration of Black family, culture and community, that features traditional food, music, dance, story telling and a lighting of symbolic candles each of the seven days.

The folks at Huffington Post put together a video that explains the festival and it core precepts.

Principles and symbols

Kwanzaa celebrates what its founder called the seven principles of Kwanzaa, or Nguzo Saba (originally Nguzu Saba-the seven principles of African Heritage), which Karenga said “is a communitarian African philosophy,” consisting of what Karenga called “the best of African thought and practice in constant exchange with the world.” These seven principles comprise *Kawaida, a Swahili term for tradition and reason. Each of the seven days of Kwanzaa is dedicated to one of the following principles, as follows:

  Umoja (Unity): To strive for and to maintain unity in the family, community, nation, and race.

   Kujichagulia (Self-Determination): To define ourselves, name ourselves, create for ourselves, and speak for ourselves.

   Ujima (Collective Work and Responsibility): To build and maintain our community together and make our brothers’ and sisters’ problems our problems, and to solve them together.

   Ujamaa (Cooperative Economics): To build and maintain our own stores, shops, and other businesses and to profit from them together.

   Nia (Purpose): To make our collective vocation the building and developing of our community in order to restore our people to their traditional greatness.

   Kuumba (Creativity): To do always as much as we can, in the way we can, in order to leave our community more beautiful and beneficial than we inherited it.

   Imani (Faith): To believe with all our hearts in our people, our parents, our teachers, our leaders, and the righteousness and victory of our struggle.

Kwanzaa symbols include a decorative mat (Mkeka) on which other symbols are placed, corn (Muhindi) and other crops, a candle holder kinara with seven candles (Mishumaa Saba), a communal cup for pouring libation (Kikimbe cha Umoja), gifts (Zawadi), a poster of the seven principles, and a black, red, and green flag. The symbols were designed to convey the seven principles.[8]

1 comment

    • TMC on December 27, 2013 at 5:58 pm
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