An African-American holiday based upon ancient customs of Africa. Dr. Maulana Korenga created Kwanzaa in 1966. It is based upon harvest or first fruit harvest traditions found through out Africa. Dr Korenga sought to develop a celebration that would reaffirm African heritage and culture, introduce and reinforce the seven principles (Nguzo Sara), create a purely African-American holiday, serve as a communal celebration that reaffirms and reinforces the bonds between African-Americans, and serve as an act of cultural self-determination as an African people.
Kwanzaa is celebrated from December 26th through January 1st. It is a time for family and friends. It is traditional for those celebrating Kwanzaa to wear traditional African clothing. Kwanzaa incorporates seven principles in its celebration. Each day of Kwanzaa celebrates one of those principles.
The first day: UMOJA (Oo-moe-jah) Unity
The commitment to the ideal of togetherness, its the foundation, without unity neither the family nor the community can survive. Unity begins with family; on this day the family gathers and discusses how they as a family establish unity among themselves and on the larger plane among the community.
The second day: KUJICHAGULIA (Coo-gee-ha-lee-ah) Self-Determination
The commitment of taking responsibility for ones own's life.
The third day: UJIMA (Oo-gee-mah) Collective work and responsibility.
The commitment to self-criticism and personal evaluation. The family and community are reminded on this day that they are collectively responsible for its victories, achievements and failures.
The fourth day: UJAMAA (Oo-jah-mah) Cooperative economics
The commitment of communal living i.e. everyone in the family has an equal say and share in the wealth and resources of the family.
The fifth day: NIA (Nee-ah) Purpose
The commitment of reevaluating the use of individual skills and their use for good within the family and community.
The sixth day: KUUMBA (Koo-m-bah) Creativity
The commitment to the use of one's creativity for the uplifting of the family and community. The community is celebrated with a feast of foods shared this day with those who attend the feast. After the feast there are celebrations of African dancing and music.
The seventh day: IMANI (E-mahn-e) Faith
The commitment of faith in ourselves as a people.