dedicated to Kwanzaa comprise Kawaida, a Swahili term meaning tradition and reason and are explain below.
The 7 Social and Spiritual Principles of Kwanzaa
- UMOJA (UNITY)(oo-MOE-jah). Celebrated on day one. This principle teaches striving for and maintaining unity in the family, community, nation, and race.
- KUJICHAGULIA (SELF DETERMINATION) (koo-jee-cha-goo-LEE-ah). Celebrated on day two. It is a principle that teaches defining oneself, naming oneself, creating for oneself, and speaking for oneself.
- UJIMA (COLLECTIVE WORK and RESPONSIBILITY) (oo-JEE-mah). This principle is celebrated on day three, and teaches building and maintaining the community together, recognizing others problems as our own, and solving those problems together.
- UJAMAA (COOPERATIVE ECONOMICS)(oo-JAH-mah) Practiced on day four, this principle teaches building and maintaining African American stores, shops and other businesses and profiting together from them.
- NIA (PURPOSE)(nee-AH). This principle is practiced on day five. It is a principle that encourages the collective effort of building and developing the community in order to restore African Americans to their traditional greatness.
- KUUMBA (CREATIVITY)(koo-OOM-bah). Practiced on day six, this principle emphasizes doing the best you can and as much as you can always to to make your community better than when it was first inherited.
- IMANI (FAITH) (ee-MAH-nee). On day seven, this principle serves as a reminder to believe in the African American culture, family, community, and in oneself.
Kwanzaa symbols include a decorative mat on which other symbols are placed, corn and other crops, a candle holder with seven candles, called a kinara, a communal cup for pouring libations, gifts, a poster of the seven principles, and a black, red, and green flag. The symbols were designed to convey the seven principles.
Today, Kwanzaa is recognized by millions throughout America and the world. It is celebrated often in community settings provided by homes, churches, mosques, temples, community centers, schools, and places of work. Kwanzaa allows us to celebrate the season without shame or fear of embracing our history, our culture, and ourselves. It’s a spiritual, festive and joyous celebration of the oneness and goodness of life and can be celebrated by anyone, all religions and non-religious alike.