Today is the first day of Kwanzaa and the beginning of a week-long celebration that ends with a feast. If you don’t know what Kwanzaa is all about or how it’s celebrated, read on as we take you through the basics:
• Kwanzaa is a worldwide celebration of life for people of African descent that lasts from December 26th to January 1st every year.
• The word “Kwanzaa” is Swahili for “first” and refers to the first harvest of the year. The holiday is based on traditional African harvest festivals and food plays a part in this celebration.
• Kwanzaa was started by a professor and activist named Maulana Karenga in 1966 as a way to celebrate family and social values.
• It’s not meant to replace Christmas and some celebrate both Christmas and Kwanzaa.
• Each of the seven days of Kwanzaa are dedicated to a different principle. Those include unity, self-determination, collective work and responsibility, cooperative economics, purpose, creativity, and faith.
• Colors used to celebrate Kwanzaa are red, green, and black.
• On December 31st, there is a celebratory feast called Karamu that usually includes lots of fresh produce.