Black family reading about Kwanzaa

Kwanzaa (pronounced KWON-zuh) is a cultural holiday that is celebrated annually from December 26th through January 1st, by millions of people of African descent. 

Kwanzaa is not a religious or political holiday. 

According to its creator, Maulana Karenga, “the holiday is based on the agricultural celebrations of Africa called “the first-fruits” celebrations, recommitment and celebration”.  It is a time for African Americans to gather together in celebration of their heritage and their achievements, reverence for creation, commemoration of the past, recommitment to cultural ideals and celebration of the good.

Kwanzaa was created to restore African Americans connection to African culture which was greatly damaged by the period of enslavement of Africans by the United States.

Kwanzaa was created to strengthen and maintain the bonds between members of the African American community as well as the Pan-African community at large.

Happy Kwanzaa” song by Teddy Pendergrass (Surefire Records, 1998); Video: Youtube

We believe that the Kwanzaa principles can be applied to life on a daily basis as a type of “Daily Kwanzaa”. A daily practice can help in the learning and preparation for the celebration of the annual holiday, and also serve as a means of putting the Kwanzaa principles into daily action.

For those who celebrate and practice Kwanzaa, either annually or daily, it introduces and reinforces in their lives the Seven Principles (Nguzo Saba) or African values of Unity (Umoja), Self-Determination (Kujichagulia), Collective Work and Responsibility (Ujamaa), Purpose (Nia), Creativity (Kuumba) and Faith (Imani).

More information and supplies that can be used to practice and celebrate Kwanzaa can be found at the My Daily Kwanzaa Store.

Harambee!  Let’s all work together!

Editor, My Daily Kwanzaa

Reference:  “Kwanzaa: A Celebration of Family, Community and Culture”, by Maulana Karenga,   University of Sankore Press, Los Angeles, California.  1998.   ISBN 0-943412-21-8.


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