December 26, 2022 to January 1, 2023
Kwanzaa is a seven-day, non-religious celebration honoring African heritage in African American culture and takes place from December 26th to January 1st. The name Kwanzaa comes from the Swahili phrase matunda ya kwanza, meaning "first fruits of the harvest." During the week of Kwanzaa, families and communities come together to share a feast, to honor the ancestors, affirm the bonds between them, and to celebrate African and African American culture. Each day they light a candle to highlight the principle of that day and to breathe meaning into the principles with various activities, such as reciting the sayings or writings of great black thinkers and writers, reciting original poetry, African drumming, and sharing a meal of African diaspora-inspired foods. The table is decorated with the essential symbols of Kwanzaa. All Seven Principles of Kwanzaa are inspiring, uplifting, positive, and centered on traditions of the African harvest season.
1. Umoja: Unity - To strive for and maintain unity in the family, community, nation, and race.
2. Kujichagulia: Self-Determination - To define ourselves, name ourselves, create for ourselves,
and speak for ourselves.
3. Ujima: Collective Work and Responsibility - To build and maintain our community together and make
our brothers' and sisters' problems our problems and solve them together.
4. Ujamaa: Cooperative Economics - To build and maintain our own stores, shops, and other businesses
and to profit from them together.
5. Nia: Purpose - To make our collective vocation the building and developing of our community in order
to restore our people to their traditional greatness.
6. Kuumba: Creativity - To always do as much as we can, in the way we can, in order to leave our
community more beautiful and beneficial than we inherited it.
7. Imani: Faith - To believe with all our heart in our people, our parents, our teachers, our leaders,
and the righteousness and victory of our struggle.
Let the light of Kwanzaa bring peace to your heart & home.
Sara J. Cobb
Founder, My Grief Connection
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Updated 14 November 2023
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