Kwanzaa is an African-American holiday. This holiday is celebrated for seven days, which starts on December 26th and ends on January 1st. The seven days of Kwanzaa symbolizes the seven principles known as Nguzo Saba which is arranged in an alter table at home.
On the first day, a black candle is lit. This black candle symbolizes the first principle known as Umoja, which means ‘’Unity’’. The Umoja or the Unity cup is filled with some fruit juice that is shared among all the people gathered in the room. Each person takes a sip and then passed it on. After the sharing from the unity cup, the candle is blown off to be lit for the next day.
On the second day, the same candle is lit along with a red candle. This symbolizes the second principle of Kwanzaa known as Kujichaglia. It means ‘’self-determination’’. A person reads a poem that relates to this principle and then the candle is blow off.
On the third day the candle is lit again, along with the red candle and the green candle. It symbolizes Ujima, which means ‘’working together and responsibility’’. People discuss on various things and at the end of the day the candle is blown off again.
On the fourth day people light the black candle again. Along with it, the two red candles that are on the extreme left and the green candle on the extreme right are also lit together. This is the fourth principle which is known as Ujamaa. It means ‘’collective economics’’.
On the fifth day the candle is lit again, followed by the red candles on the left and then the green candles. The fifth day is known as Nia which means ‘’purpose’’. After the discussion, the unity cup is shared among people and then the candle is blown off.
On the sixth day along with the black candle, the rest of the red and the green candles are also lit. The sixth day is known as ‘’Kuumba’’ which means ‘’creativity’’. It is a special day for everyone. Many friends and families come together to celebrate this festival. People dress in traditional clothes. Afro-American music is played and there is a lavish spread of food. On this day, adults and children enact plays and perform. Therefore, people try to be as creative as possible because Kuumba means creativity. At the end of the day, the candle is blown off.
On the seventh day which is the last day of the kwanzaa, all the candles are lit. This day is known as Imani and it means ‘’Faith’’. On the last day of Kwanzaa, all the seven candles are blown off which symbolizes the closing of Kwanzaa.
Kwanzaa is a unique holiday and many families like to celebrate it together. A lot of hard work and imagination is put together. A lot of importance is given to old traditions and this how people celebrate.
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