Monday, December 26, 2016

Happy Kwanzaa

"Kwanzaa was created to introduce and reinforce seven basic values of African culture which contribute to building and reinforcing family, community and culture among African American people as well as Africans throughout the world African community. These values are called the Nguzo Saba which in Swahili means the Seven Principles. The Nguzo Saba stand at the heart of the origin and meaning of Kwanzaa, for it is these values which are not only the building blocks for community but also serve to reinforce and enhance them."   - Dr. Maulana Karenga (Founder and Creator)

Kwanzaa is a week-long celebration observed from December 26 to January 1 each year.
 

Edible Art: Seven Basic Principles of Kwanzaa.
The colors of the Kwanzaa flag are black, red and green; black for the people, red for their struggle, and green for the future and hope that comes from their struggle. It is based on the colors given by the Hon. Marcus Garvey as national colors for African people throughout the world.
 

The Kwanzaa art includes the following foods: apples, raspberries, strawberries, black beans, prunes, black berries, black rice, green bell peppers, broccoli, spinach, grapes, and string  beans.

             
Kwanzaa has seven basic symbols. Each represents values and concepts reflective of African culture and contributive to community building and reinforcement. The following are the basic symbols:

Mazao (The Crops) These are symbolic of African harvest celebrations and of the rewards of productive and collective labor. 

Mkeka (The Mat) This is symbolic of our tradition and history and therefore, the foundation on which we build. 

Kinara (The Candle Holder) This is symbolic of our roots, our parent people -- continental Africans.

Muhindi (The Corn) This is symbolic of our children and our future which they embody.

Mishumaa Saba (The Seven Candles) These are symbolic of the Nguzo Saba, the Seven Principles, the matrix and minimum set of values which African people are urged to live by in order to rescue and reconstruct their lives in their own image and according to their own needs.

Kikombe cha Umoja (The Unity Cup) This is symbolic of the foundational principle and practice of unity which makes all else possible.

Zawadi (The Gifts) These are symbolic of the labor and love of parents and the commitments made and kept by the children. 


The following videos share the history and traditions of Kwanzaa. The first video was created by Sesame Street and the story of Kwanzaa is told through a young  boy; the second video is a Happy Kwanzaa song by Teddy Pendergrass; and the third video is a trailer from "The Black Candle", narrated by Maya Angelou.

Sesame Street: Kwanzaa
 

Kwanzaa, a Celebration. 
"The Black Candle" trailer, 
narrated by Maya Angelou.


Wishing the lights of Kwanzaa
brings happiness, warmth and prosperity.


Resources
The Official Kwanzaa Web Site
The Official Kwanzaa Web Site, to make a donation  

 Wikipedia: Kwanzaa 


When you learn something from people, or from a culture,
you accept it as a gift, and it is your lifelong commitment
to preserve it and build on it. 

- Yo-Yo Ma





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