Celebrating a seven day long holiday has been so much fun for my family and I! We started celebrating Kwanzaa about 7 years ago. I can honestly say Kwanzaa should be a paid holiday off to pay homage to our ancestors and to create space for more unity within our communities. Kwanzaa celebrates all African heritage in America.
Our ancestors built this country and went through so much pain. How can you NOT celebrate or recognize Kwanzaa?
Africans & African Americans set so many trends here in America! Kwanzaa is also the time to show off your African gear! Rock those afrocentic hair styles! Let’s celebrate together. Pull out those African prints in your closet and wear them with pride. Then send me pics of you, your family, and friends celebrating Kwanzaa. I will post your pics here on my blog.
Ok! So you have your African gear and your afrocentric hair styles ready……..now what?
Kwanzaa nightly gatherings around the candles.
During Kwanzaa, families take time to reflect on the richness of the past, the potential of the present, and the promise of the future by capturing mambo yote mazuri, or “all things beautiful.”
Each night of Kwanzaa includes a gathering dedicated to one of the holiday’s seven principles, known as Nguzo Saba. Central to this nightly observance is the lighting of the kinara, a special candleholder with room for seven candles.
Each night, you light a new candle — the one that corresponds to the principle for that day — on the kinara.
The candles (mishumaa saba) come in three different colors: red, green, and black. The red color symbolizes the struggles of the past, the black color the African people, and the green color the Earth and all the possibilities it holds.
The night then unfolds with stories, poetry, art, gifts, and food.
Celebrating Kwanzaa also teaches you the African language Swahili. If someone says “Habari Gani?” (WHAT’S THE NEWS?) You reply with the name of the day. For example, on the first day, you will reply with “Umoja!”
We pass out 7 pieces of paper and each person is assigned a day according to the number they pick. Each person is responsible for:
-the activity/event of the day
-say word and meaning of the word during sunrise &/or sunset prayer over candles.
Some families gather at sunrise, some gather at sunset, and others gather at both sunrise & sunset. You decide what is better for you and your family.
Start with the black candle first. The eldest family member lights the black candle first. Then, on the second day….
The second day, you always light the RED candle. Ok! I hope that helps! Yes, I will be back tomorrow to share and help you better understand each Kwanzaa day 2022.