Kwanzaa is a holiday that lasts for seven days from December 26 through January 1st. It celebrates family and culture in the African American community to help reconnect them with their heritage and roots. It also has traditions based around the first harvest celebrations in Africa. These celebrations are recorded in history and can be traced back to Egypt and Nubia and across many cultures throughout Africa. While a lot of these first harvest and first-fruit celebrations vary there is still a lot of similar themes among them. The holiday is one that acknowledges the blessings one has and being thankful for what we have. It celebrates communities and traditions. Here are the seven principles in the celebration.
The Seven Principles:
- Umoja (Unity): Strive for and maintain unity in the family and the community.
- Kujichagulia (Self-Determination): Define oneself and speak for oneself
- Ujima (Collective Work and Responsibility): Build and maintain community. Make our brother’s and sister’s problems our own and solve them together
- Ujamaa (Cooperative Economics): Build and maintain our businesses for ourselves and each other
- Nia (Purpose): Build and develop our collective communities together
- Kuumba (Creativity): Do what we can to leave our communities more beautiful than when we inherited them
- Imani (Faith): Believe with our hearts in our people, our families and the righteousness of our struggle