STREAMING NOW: Watch Now
CLOSINGS: View Closings

Kwanzaa Fast Facts

Here's a look at Kwanzaa, an African-American ho...

Posted: Dec 28, 2017 12:28 PM
Updated: Dec 28, 2017 12:28 PM

Here's a look at Kwanzaa, an African-American holiday celebrated each year from December 26 to January 1.

Facts: Kwanzaa is based on traditional African harvest festivals.

Also spelled Kwanza.

Maulana Karenga, a professor of Pan-African studies at California State University at Long Beach, created the holiday in 1966 to be a nonreligious celebration of family and social values.

The name Kwanzaa is derived from the phrase "matunda ya kwanza" which means "first fruits" in Swahili. Karenga chose Swahili as the language of the festivities because it is a Pan-African language, not necessarily defined by a particular region or tribe.

Karenga created Kwanzaa as a way for African-Americans to reconnect with ancestral roots by introducing and celebrating African culture. The intent was for the holiday to expand and be celebrated by people with African ancestry all over the world. This celebration of family, community and culture is built around the Nguzo Saba, or the Seven Principles.

Each day of Kwanzaa is dedicated to one of seven principles: unity (umoja), self-determination (kuji chagulia), collective responsibility (ujima), cooperative economics (ujamaa), purpose (nia), creativity (kuumba) and faith (imani).

Each night celebrants light a new candle on the kinara, a seven-branched candelabra. The seven candles, one black, three red and three green, represent the people, the struggle and the future, as well as the seven principles. Gifts are often given to children.

On December 31, participants engage in a feast known as the karamu, which can include steps such as a kukaribisha (welcoming), kuumba (remembering), kushangilla (rejoicing), tamshi la tambiko (libation statement), kutoa majina (calling of names), the karamu feast and tamshi la tutaonana (farewell statement).

St. Joseph
Clear
66° wxIcon
Hi: 68° Lo: 43°
Feels Like: 66°
Maryville
Partly Cloudy
66° wxIcon
Hi: 68° Lo: 42°
Feels Like: 66°
Savannah
Clear
66° wxIcon
Hi: 67° Lo: 41°
Feels Like: 66°
Cameron
Clear
66° wxIcon
Hi: 65° Lo: 41°
Feels Like: 66°
Atchison
Clear
66° wxIcon
Hi: 68° Lo: 41°
Feels Like: 66°
Today will be another comfortable and mild day with mostly sunny skies. Temperatures today will warm into the upper 60s and lower 70s. Clouds will start to increase across the area tonight into Friday morning. Rain chances will also start to increase tomorrow morning with the chance for scattered showers mainly through the morning and afternoon hours. The rain will be light on Friday with most areas seeing less than a quarter of an inch. Rain chances will continue this weekend as temperatures warm to around average in the low to mid 70s. Showers and a few thunderstorms will continue through the weekend however no severe weather is expected at this time. Rainfall could be moderate to heavy at times with most areas seeing around 2-3 inches of rain by Monday. Rain chances will continue into next week as temperatures remain around average.
KQTV Radar
KQTV Temperatures
KQTV Alerts

Best of St. Joe

 

Community Events