Kwanzaa is a holiday celebrated by African Americans. It's a time for fun and celebration. It helps African Americans remember things they have done in the past and their plans for the future.
Kwanzaa is a 7 day holiday. It starts on December 26th and ends on January 1st.
Kwanzaa is primarily celebrated in the U.S and Canada. It has also spread to Brazil, The Caribbean, Great Britain, France, Senegal, and other West African countries.
One of the customs of Kwanzaa is that everyone who comes to celebrate has to take a sip from the Kikombe cha umoja (large cup). This shows that African Americans are one people.
During Kwanzaa they decorate their homes with a table full of special items that mean different kinds of things to African Americans. It includes: Mkeka: A mat made by hand. Kikombe Cha Umoja: Large cup, previously explained. Mazao: Bowl of fruit. Muhindi: Ears of corn. 1 ear of corn is needed for each child. Kinara: Candleholder. Zawadi: Meaning gifts. They also decorate with a poster listing 7 special ideas or beliefs.
Also included on the table are 7 candles. The 1 black candle stands for the African Americans. The 3 red candles stand for hard work and freedom. The 3 green candles stand for hope. One candle is lit each night. The black one is the first one lit.
Some foods they eat during Kwanzaa include baked catfish, collard greens, black-eyed peas, and sweet potato pie.
Kwanzaa is kind of like Christmas. It's during the same times of year and the children get presents.
A fun fact about the word Kwanzaa is that at the first celebration of Kwanza their were 7 children who came to the celebration and each child wanted to explain a letter of Kwanza, so an extra "a" was added to the word to make it 7 letters long. These 7 letters now stand for the 7 principles for Kwanzaa.
Works Cited: Riehecky, Janet, and Lydia Halverson. Kwanzaa. Chicago: Childrens, 1993. Print.