According to, Ron Karenga created Kwanzaa in California in 1966 during his leadership of the black nationalist United Slaves Organization, in order to give African Americans an alternative holiday to Christmas. The holiday celebrates the "Seven Principles of Kwanzaa," which are unity, selfthemed items are available as well.

Seven Principles

Kwanzaa is a sevenset'>kinara while poetry and passages pertaining to these themes are read.  We are here to give you more information on how your family can celebrate the holiday. * '''Umoja''': To strive for and to maintain unity in the family, community, nation, and race.  ** On the first day of Kwanzaa, the black candle in the center of the kinara is lit to represent Unity. * '''Kujichagulia''': To define ourselves, name ourselves, create for ourselves, and speak for ourselves. ** On the second day, the farthest red candle to the left is lit to represent Self-Determination. * '''Ujima''': To build and maintain our community together and make our brothers' and sisters' problems our problems and to solve them together.    ** On the third day, the farthest green candle on the right is lit to represent Collective Work and Responsibility. * '''Ujamaa''': To build and maintain our own stores, shops, and other businesses and to profit from them together. ** On the fourth day, second red candle from the left is lit to symbolize Cooperative Economics. * '''Nia''': To make our collective vocation the building and developing of our community in order to restore our people to their traditional greatness. ** On the fifth day, the second green candle from the right is lit to sumboli Purpose. * '''Kuumba''': To do always as much as we can, in the way we can, in order to leave our community more beautiful and beneficial than we inherited it. ** On the sixth day of Kwanzaa, the innermost red candle is lit to symbolize Creativity.    * '''Imani''': To believe with all our heart in our people, our parents, our teachers, our leaders, and the righteousness and victory of our struggle. ** On the last day of Kwanzaa, the last green, innermost candle is lit to symbolize Faith.

Color Scheme and Decor

For Kwanzaa the colors are black, red, and green. Black is symbolic of the people, red is symbolic of their struggle, and green represents looking to a prosperous future. Keeping things within the color scheme is a great and simple way to be festive. Also, natural decorations are a great option as well.  

Kwanzaa Supplies

There are seven ritual items associated with Kwanzaa, plus two supplemental items. Gifts, one of the seven items, are discussed in the section below.


Gifts are one of the traditional Kwanzaa items and symbolize the care that parents have for their children.  Although gifts are more variable than most of the ritual items used in a Kwanzaa celebration, there are a few things that are traditional and symbolic. '''Books''' One of the two necessary presents for Kwanzaa is a book, which symbolizes continued learning and the importance of education. Since the main idea is that the book should be educational, you may want to choose ones about African history, heritage, and culture. When giving a book to a child, consider getting one that is slightly above his or her reading level. Reading a more challenging story together can become a shared family experience, and this way it can be "grown into," thus it won't be seen as childish in just a few months. '''Heritage Symbols''' The other traditional Kwanzaa gift is a heritage symbol. These are very varied and can be art, jewelry, or almost anything else symbolic of African cultures.

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