Dec 31, 2009


The relatively new holiday Kwanza was created in 1966 by Dr. Maulana Karenga, professor and chairman of Black Studies at California State University, Long Beach. He saw it as a way to bring African-Americans together as a community. He combined aspects of several different harvest celebrations, such as those of the Ashanti and those of the Zulu. The name was derived from a phrase that means 'first fruits.' Later the second "A" was later added to make 7 letters to coincide with the seven candles he decided should be lit for the holidays.

Kwanzaa is a non-religious African-American holiday which celebrates family, community, and culture. Celebrations often include songs and dances, African drums, storytelling, poetry reading, and a large traditional meal. On each of the seven nights, the family gathers and a child lights one of the candles. It is celebrated for seven days: December 26 - January 1.