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Holidays Around the World – Kwanzaa @ Girl-Doll Fashion Gossip

  Holidays Around the World – Kwanzaa (Doll Article)

(December 30, 2007 by JeZz Send DollMail )
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From December 26th through January 1st, many individuals and families around the world are celebrating Kwanzaa. Kwanzaa is an African American and Pan-African holiday celebrated by those of African descent all around the globe. It is a holiday which celebrates roots, family and culture. The name Kwanzaa is derived from the phrase "matunda ya kwanza" which means "first fruits" in Swahili, a common language on the African continent. The celebration coincides with the first harvest in Africa which is also called Kwanzaa.

The History of Kwanzaa

The official holiday of Kwanzaa was established in 1966 during the heart of the struggle for full rights and independence for African Americans. It was based on the principles of the First Fruit festivals in Africa tying it closely to the continent and bringing all Africans together in a sense as they celebrate the same commitments to family, community and culture. Kwanzaa as it is celebrated by African Americans today was established by Dr. Maulana Karenga a professor in the Department of Black Studies at California State University - Long Beach.

Foundations of Kwanzaa

When Kwanzaa was first established it was created to reaffirm African culture among the African-American community. It was designed to help bring the community together in a common celebration of common identity. Kwanzaa was also created to introduce and reinforce the seven principles or community African values. Kwanzaa is a cultural holiday, not a religious one – it is celebrated by families of many religions all around the globe.

The Seven Principles

The seven principles serving as a foundation of Kwanzaa describe and encourage the values which are considered to be the best aspects of an African heritage and humanity. Each principle is accompanied by a symbol. The seven principles are called Nguzo Saba and include:

Umoja (Unity) – You should strive to create and maintain unity in the family, community, nation and race.

Kujichagulia (Self-Determination) – Define yourself, speak for yourself, name yourself and create for yourself.

Ujima (Collective Work and Responsibility) – Live in a close community and help all members of the community solve problems.

Ujamaa (Cooperative Economics) – Build and profit from your own stores and shops.

Nia (Purpose) –Work together to build a community of greatness.

Kuumba (Creativity) – Do as much as you can as often as you can to leave your community more beautiful than it was when you arrived.

Imani (Faith) – Believe with all of your heart in your family, teachers, people, leaders and the righteousness of the struggle.

Other Traditions of Kwanzaa

Kwanzaa is a newer holiday, but it still has plenty of traditions. The Seven Principles are just a start of what the holiday entails. Kwanzaa has seven basic symbols and two alternates including seven candles, corn and gifts among many others. The colors are red, green and black and traditional greetings during the holiday period are done in Swahili. Traditional African items and art are often used as decorations for the holiday.

Gifts are given primarily to children, but must always include a book and a symbol of the African heritage. The book is a symbol of learning and the heritage gift is to remind children of their tradition and history. The celebration is a formal occasion not to be mixed with any other holidays of the season. There are routines and practices that should be observed as the symbols are arranged corrected and used in preparing the meal.

The Meditation

The final day of Kwanzaa, January 1st, is a day of quiet reflection on what the year has held and what the upcoming year will bring. Those who celebrate Kwanzaa use this day to think about who they really are, if they act as they claim to to, and if they are everything they should be. The day is also a time to be with family and community as the holiday draws to a close.

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Hendersonville, TN
Posted On: December 20, 2013
cool!!!!! icon7:
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Arvada, CO
Posted On: January 5, 2008
very cool! i have african heritage (just a little bit) and it's always nice to learn something i didn't know!
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Posted On: January 5, 2008
sounds cool gr8 article.
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Elkmont, AL
Posted On: January 3, 2008
Yeah...I know I'm going to get called racist but there are a few comments I would like to post. DON'T call me racist, I'm NOT.

Kwanzaa was originally created to be anti Christian. The creator of Kwanzaa wanted African Americans to stop celebrating Christmas and said that Jesus was psychotic and Christianity was a white religion that blacks should shun.

So yeah...Kwanzaa is great the way it is celebrated now, but that was not the original intention of it.
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Posted On: January 3, 2008
Hi good job.q3
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United Kingdom
Posted On: January 3, 2008
I Never Really Knew Much About Kwanzaa But Now I Can Say I Do!

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Posted On: January 2, 2008
good job on the article! anyway... kwanza sounds pretty cool. i think im gonna look up mores tuff on the net!
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Canton, NC
Posted On: January 2, 2008
Wow. I've heard of Kwanzaa, but never learned the story, Great artical!
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Erwin, TN
Posted On: January 2, 2008
good article. i always enloy learning about different holidays and customs. I really admire African Americans becasue of how they never gave up their dreams to be free. anywho......
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Posted On: January 2, 2008
Everyone seems to think of Kwanazaa and Hanuka as the same. Though I don't celebrate Kwanzaa, I celebrate it in a way though because my birthday is December 26th. I would also like to see an article on Eid so I can send it to my friend in Pakistan, who celebrates Eid. Nice article!

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United Kingdom
Posted On: January 2, 2008
Good article...Kwanzaa sounds really interesting. I'd like to see an article on Eid now - it's another celebration that took part just before Christmas.


± Bones
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Posted On: January 2, 2008
Kwanzaa...I've never really known much about it...Thanks! It sounds like a good holiday.


heeh....first comment ^__^
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