If the magic of the festive season has not yet permeated your house and just about every other place close to where you live then you must be living under a rock. Christmas has come alive once again. But what other holidays are around this time of the year, well, there is Hanukkah a Jewish celebration and then there is something else as well. An event relatively new in comparison to the history of Christmas and Hanukkah, the event we are discussing is none other than Kwanzaa. If you have never heard of the holiday, have no idea when it started, where it came from or why we celebrate it, then this is the article for you. So let us stop wasting time and dive right into the origins of Kwanzaa.
Kwanzaa was originally founded in 1966 by Dr. Karenga; he was searching for a means to unite the African American community within the United States at the time. This was a particularly trying time as there had just recently been many protests, known collectively as the Watts riots. Therefore, Dr. Karenga began researching how harvest celebrations in Africa are observed, after much research into many different cultures in Africa, he combined the celebratory customs of many cultures including but not limited to the Zulus and the Ashanti people as well. The word Kwanzaa is actually pulled from a traditional Swahili term that when translated means first fruits.
Now Kwanzaa is not limited to a single method of interpretation when it comes to celebrating this holiday, just like each family puts their own spin on Christmas, each family puts their own traditions onto Kwanzaa. However, there are a few staple ingredients that help make this holiday truly special, some examples include listening to African music or drums, plenty of dancing, listening to poetry and stories or fables and of course, there must always be an enormous feast. It seems that overladen tables are the secret to all successful meals. Kwanzaa is held over a weeklong period and each night the whole family and possibly a couple friends and neighbors as well gather together to light a candle on the Kinara or candleholder.
The seven candles lit over seven days each correspond to one of the seven principles of the African culture that helps bind together the African American community within the United States. The seven principles are as follows:
As you can clearly see Kwanzaa is a truly magical time of the year for the African American community within the United States and has a special place in many hearts. For all of your holiday information and more, visit Sir Holiday today.
African drums link:
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