Some Key Traditions When It Comes To Kwanzaa
If you want to celebrate Kwanzaa, it’s great to learn some key traditions from others who observe the holiday, so you’re not reinventing the wheel.
To celebrate Kwanzaa, you’ll need:
- A mat (Mkeka), to place the other items on
- A kinara (candle holder, with space to hold seven candles)
- Mishumaa saba (seven candles – three in green, three in red, one in black)
- Mazao (crops)
- Muhindi (corn)
- A kikombe cha Umoja (a unity cup – any kind of cup will do for this as long as it can be considered special)
- Zawadi (gifts)
Families who celebrate Kwanzaa decorate their houses very colorfully. When you’re decorating your home for Kwanzaa, you could use colorful African cloths such as kente, to drape over furniture or walls. You can add African art to the walls, or place African sculptures around the home. Decorating the house with fresh fruit is another popular option. People often wear kaftans or African clothing during Kwanzaa celebrations.
Each day, a ceremony is held to celebrate each principle in the Nguzo Saba in turn. One of the candles is lit each day, and readings, discussions, drumming and feasting take place. Gifts are exchanged, too. If you’re just starting out celebrating Kwanzaa with your family, a great gift for a child would be Together For Kwanzaa, a great book that teaches children all about Kwanzaa. Not only does your child get a great gift – they’ll get an introduction to Kwanzaa, too!
Where To Buy A Kwanzaa Kinara And Other Kwanzaa Items
A kinara is one of the most important items you’ll need to celebrate Kwanzaa in the traditional way, and there are plenty more items you’ll want to get to enhance your Kwanzaa experience.
What about this Kwanzaa Gye Nyame Candleholder and Celebration Set? It’s handmade in Ghana, which is a great plus for this pan-African holiday. You’ll also get the full set of candles, plus the unity cup, the mat, and information sheet on Kwanzaa.
A great way to create an instant holiday mood is to use a tablecloth. For Kwanzaa, an African print table cloth brightens up the place and changes the atmosphere. What about this one from Ambessone? It features a yellow, orange and red background overlaid with a white silhouette of the African continent and black symbols.
What Is Kwanzaa, When Is It, And How Should I Celebrate It Conclusion
So now you know what Kwanzaa is! Whatever your religious persuasion, you can join in. It’s a great celebration to bring family, friends and neighbors together in a celebration of black culture.
Kids find Kwanzaa very exciting! It can be a great way to introduce them to black history and taking pride in who they are as black people. It may be especially relevant for your family if you want to foster a strong sense of connection with Africa and the diaspora.
Why not have fun in creating your own Kwanzaa traditions? You can use the seven principles as a jump off point to design your own fun ways of celebrating the holiday. For example on the day of Ujima, collective work and responsibility, you could all go out and volunteer at a homeless shelter or a retirement home, for example.
There are infinite ways you can make this holiday your own, and a special one for all the family.