The Joys of Kwanzaa

Last year was the first year I decided to celebrated Kwanzaa, it was a solo journey that I felt drawn to study.

The days of knowledge and cultural love as the year came to an end was just what my heart needed. Illustrious and honored is what I felt as I studied the purpose of Kwanzaa.

I did not have a huge celebration or any type of group gatherings, but I made it my responsibility to study the meanings of each day. I did some research and I watched some films to gather a clear understanding of what Kwanzaa really was and why this holiday is just as important as other holidays.

Throughout my research I discovered the word Kwanzaa derives from a phrase in Swahili that means “first fruit.” The phrase is “matunda ya kwanza” and this American celebration was originally founded by an Africana studies professor by the name of Maulana Karenga in 1966.

Kwanzaa is a seven-day celebration of African-American culture that starts on December 26 and ends on new year’s day. Each day of the seven days is dedicated to a purposeful theme known as principles in which African-American’s should practice.

I loved it. It gave me pride. With all the other holidays going on around this season and looking back at all the trauma we as a people face over the years Kwanzaa re-fueled my heart with peace.

 The seven principles of Kwanzaa are simple and things we should be doing daily to improve ourselves and our communities. The seven principles are Umoja, Kujichagulia, Ujima, which are represented with three red candles. Ujamaa, which is represented with one black candle and Nia, Kuumba and lastly Imani  in which are all represented by a three green candles.

My newly found
love for Kwanzaa is forming because I have been on a journey of self-discovery and Kwanzaa is a unique way to enlighten and stretch myself in a positive way.

This year I am looking forward to finding someone to celebrate Kwanzaa with me. I want to do something even if it is just one day out of these seven days. I want to enjoy the festivities of this American Harvest. So I will be looking forward to finding out how other people celebrate.

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