The history of Kwanzaa

Kwanzaa – December 26 to January 1


Image by OpenClipart-Vectors from Pixabay

Winter holidays can’t be complete without Kwanzaa. The holiday is known for celebrating African heritage and identity!

In 1966, Maulana Karenga was a professor of African-American cultures at California State University of Los Angeles (UCLA) when he created a holiday now known as Kwanzaa.
Kwanzaa is celebrated from December 26-January 1, according to the History Channel. It was first introduced as a festival for African-Americans as a response to the United States Christmas.
Karenga created Kwanzaa to bring African-Americans together as a community, with traditions similar to Thanksgiving. describes Kwanzaa is a cultural holiday that celebrates African heritage and identity.
The focus of this holiday is heritage, unity, and culture. The name Kwanzaa is derived from the phrase ¨matunda ya kwanza¨ which means first fruits, or harvest, in Swahili.
African-Americans typically celebrate Kwanzaa by singing, dancing, storytelling, poetry reading, African drumming, and feasting. Like Hanukah, celebrants light a candle for each night of the festivities. Each candle represents a concept that is being promoted through the holiday: Unity (umoja), self-determination (kujichagulia), responsibility (ujima), economics (ujamaa), work (nia), creativity (kuumba), and faith (imani) ( By the last day, all seven candles are lit and the warm glow of the holiday surrounds the family.