Kwanzaa is an African-American celebration of life from 26 December to 1 January.
Dr. Maulana Karenga introduced the festival in 1966 to the United States as a ritual to welcome the first harvests to the home.
In fact, one might say that Kwanzaa has similarities with Thanksgiving in the United States or the #YamFestival
in Ghana and Nigeria. The word "kwanza" is a KiSwahili (Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania) word meaning "first." Five common sets of values are central to the activities of the week: ingathering, reverence, commemoration, recommitment, and celebration. The seven principles (nguzo saba) of Kwanzaa utilize Kiswahili words: unity (Umoja), self-determination (kujichagulia), collective work and responsibility (ujima), cooperative economics (ujamaa), purpose (nia), creativity (kuumba), and faith (Imani). Each of the seven candles signify the principles. Like the Jewish Hannakah, candles are used to represent concepts of the holiday.
The symbols of Kwanzaa include crops (mzao) which represent the historical roots of African-Americans in agriculture and also the reward for collective labor. The mat (mkeka) lays the foundation for self- actualization. The candle holder (kinara) reminds believers of the ancestral origins in one of 55 African countries. Corn/maize (muhindi) signifies children and the hope associated with the younger generation. Gifts (Zawadi) represent the commitments of the parents for the children. The unity cup (Kkimbe cha Umoja) is used to pour libations to the ancestors. Finally, the seven candles (mishumaa saba) remind participants of the several pinciples and the colors in flags of African liberation movements -- 3 red, 1 black, and 3 green.
Gifts are exchanged. On 31 December participants celebrate with a banquet of food often cuisine from various African countries. Participants greet one another with "Habari gani" which is Kiswahili for "how are you/ how's the news with you?" We celebrate #Kwanzaa
this Saturday, 28th December in honor of those who have returned.
Join us!#Kwanzaa #Ujima#YearOfReturn #ghana #eastlegon#JamRockGH #livemusic #reggae