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Old 12-26-2011, 01:07 AM   #1
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Default It's the Happy Kwanzaa Chat Thread

It's December 26th and that means...

The year 2011 will see the 46th annual Kwanzaa, the African American holiday celebrated from December 26 to January 1. It is estimated that some 18 million African Americans take part in Kwanzaa. Kwanzaa is not a religious holiday, nor is it meant to replace Christmas. It was created by Dr. Maulana "Ron" Karenga, a professor of Black Studies, in 1966. At this time of great social change for African Americans, Karenga sought to design a celebration that would honor the values of ancient African cultures and inspire African Americans who were working for progress. Kwanzaa is based on the year-end harvest festivals that have taken place throughout Africa for thousands of years. The name comes from the Swahili phrase "matunda ya kwanza," which means "first fruits of the harvest." Karenga chose a phrase from Swahili because the language is used by various peoples throughout Africa.

Today, Kwanzaa is given a national holiday status in America. It is probably one of the very few festivals celebrated by people belonging to any religion. It does not promote any religious principles but propogates moral principles of unity, self-determination, collective work and responsibility, cooperative economics, purpose and faith.

Listed below are some interesting facts about Kwanzaa:

*Dr. Maluana Karenga established Kwanzaa in 1966 to unite the black community.
*The festival derives its name from the Swahili word “matunda ya kwanza” which translates as “fresh fruits”.
*It is celebrated for seven days from December 26 to January 1 every year.
*Seven candles are lit on seven consecutive days. These candles are placed on a candleholder called kinara, which in turn is placed on top of a straw mat called mkeka.
*The festival is represented by three different colors. Black signifies the skin color of the people, red symbolizes their struggle and green signifies hope for the future.
*A unity cup called kikombe cha umoja is also placed on the mkeka. It is used to pour tambiko as a tribute and remembrance to the ancestors.
*Even the mazao (crops) are placed on the mkeka along with other African objects. This is to remind people of their African roots, cultures and traditions.
*The first Kwanzaa stamp was launched in 1997.


Kwanzaa culminates in a big feast on the last evening of the holiday, on December 31. Called Karamu, it is celebrated with festive songs, dance, toasts, prayers, and a feast of foods.

Happy Kwanzaa!
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Old 12-26-2011, 01:08 AM   #2
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Default Re: It's the Happy Kwanzaa Chat Thread

Hey !
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Old 12-26-2011, 01:09 AM   #3
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Default Re: It's the Happy Kwanzaa Chat Thread

View Post Originally Posted by babykittyricky
Hey !
congrats on 1st post
View Post Originally Posted by Goldendoodle
hello .
congrats on 2nd post
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Old 12-26-2011, 01:10 AM   #4
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Default Re: It's the Happy Kwanzaa Chat Thread

Hi there...

.... o-o
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Old 12-26-2011, 01:10 AM   #5
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Default Re: It's the Happy Kwanzaa Chat Thread

oh hello
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Old 12-26-2011, 01:10 AM   #6
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Default Re: It's the Happy Kwanzaa Chat Thread

View Post Originally Posted by WebkinzCollecte
HI...................
congrats on 3rd post
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Old 12-26-2011, 01:10 AM   #7
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Default Re: It's the Happy Kwanzaa Chat Thread

View Post Originally Posted by COWS4YOU
congrats on 3rd post
thanks! (:
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Old 12-26-2011, 01:10 AM   #8
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Default Re: It's the Happy Kwanzaa Chat Thread

how was everyone's weekend?
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Old 12-26-2011, 01:11 AM   #9
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Default Re: It's the Happy Kwanzaa Chat Thread

Hi guys! (:

very good COWS4YOU

thanks for asking
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Old 12-26-2011, 01:11 AM   #10
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Default Re: It's the Happy Kwanzaa Chat Thread

hi .
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