Anonymous asked in Society & CultureHolidaysKwanzaa · 1 decade ago

When did Kwanzaa get started? Is it like a knockoff of Chaunukah?

The candle thing and the 7-8 day thing? Sorta remniscient of Chaunukah. Do they spin dreidels too and play the penny game?

5 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    Maybe the candle thing was borrowed-- who knows?

    But the holiday is completely different. Chanukah and Christmas are exclusive. Generally, if you don't share in the religion, you don't share in the holiday.

    Kwanzaa started as a Pan-African holiday, but is inclusive and not rooted in religion, but in self evaluation.

    I think of it as almost an extended new year's, where one reflects on the seven principles as it pertains to oneself, then uses those evaluations to make resolutions to improve.

    The Seven Principles

    December 26th Unity (Umoja)

    27th Self-Determination (Kujichagulia)

    28th Collective Work & Responsibility (Ujima)

    29th Cooperative Economics (Ujamaa)

    30th Purpose (Nia)

    31st Creativity (Kuumba)

    January 1st Faith (Imani)

    Kwanzaa also incorporates seven symbols from African Culture that have a significant ritualistic meaning. The seven symbols are mazao (fruits, vegetables, and nuts), mkeba (place mat, representing foundation, ancestors and cultural history as a people), kinara (candleholder), vibunzi or muhindi (ears of corn, one for each child in the family), zawadi (gifts, usually made or selected to represent the principle of the day), Kikombe cha umoja (communal cup of unity), and mishumaa saba (seven candles, one lit each day starting with the black in the center on Unity Day, the first red (which are all located to the left) and rotating to the first green on the third day (which are all located on the right) red, green, red, green.

    It symbolically reconnects african descendants with centuries old rituals that culminated in the celebrations of the first harvest, rooted in gratitude for the bounty, and spearheaded by determination to move forward. Hope this helps.

  • C. J.
    Lv 5
    1 decade ago

    Kwanzaa was started by Dr Maulana Karenga, a professor at my alma-mater.

    Kwanzaa is an African American and Pan-African holiday which celebrates family, community and culture. Celebrated from 26 December thru 1 January, its origins are in the first harvest celebrations of Africa from which it takes its name. The name Kwanzaa is derived from the phrase "matunda ya kwanza" which means "first fruits" in Swahili, a Pan-African language which is the most widely spoken African language.

  • 1 decade ago

    No, Kwanzaa is a African kind of thing, and they are basically like being happy what they have, disregarding what they don't have. They drink from a specail cup, and they pass it around, chanting some words.

  • 1 decade ago

    it's a fake holiday through and through. It was invented for money's sake. You should read the article, "How Kwanzaa cons ya" by Michael Savage/Michael Weiner.

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  • 1 decade ago


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