South Bend's planned celebration of Kwanzaa and everything you need to know about the holiday (2023)

South Bend's planned celebration of Kwanzaa and everything you need to know about the holiday (1)

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now thisNatalWhen the end is over, the South Bend region and communities across the country will begin celebrating Kwanzaa, the annual holiday celebrating black culture and African unity.

The observance is from December 26th to January. 1. The South Bend Chapter Indiana Black Expo Inc. will host its annual celebration Tuesday. The event is scheduled for 6 p.m. In theSt. Joseph district library's Community Learning Center, 304 S. Main St., in South Bend.

For those unable to attend in person, the program will also be available via Zoom. The meeting ID is82281839856. Anyone planning to attend in person or via Zoom must register atSt. Joseph district librarypage on the internet.

What is Kwanzaa?

First celebrated in 1966, Kwanzaa is a celebration of black culture and the unity of the African diaspora. Each day of Kwanzaa is dedicated to a principle that we want to reflect on and celebrate. In order are the principlesUnit(Unit),choose yourself(self-determination),Ujima(Shared work and responsibility),socialism(cooperative economy),Nia(Purpose),molding(creativity) andImani(Trust).

What does Kwanzaa begin?

Kwanzaa launches in this yearMontag, 26.12and pull throughSunday, January 1st.

How many days is Kwanzaa?

Kwanzaa lasts a total of seven days. It is a week-long celebration that is observed annually.

How to Party or Kwanzaa

There aren't many ways to celebrate Kwanzaa - you can celebrate the holiday with a small family gathering or in a larger community. One can even celebrate Kwanzaa alone by quietly pondering each of the principles. Two notable principles to ponder are kuumba (creativity) and imani (belief). Kuumba is usually expressed by different people showing their creative talents through music, art and poetry. Imani is a call to deep thought about what a person believes.

Kwanzaa celebrations typically begin each day with a tribute to ancestors and recognition of their struggles. Honored ancestors can be from the distant past, such as those who died during the Middle Passage, or more recent relatives, such as grandparents. Many often use the time to honor deceased celebrities or community leaders.

A big part of Kwanzaa is food, and many celebrate the richness of Pan-African cuisine by eating foods drawn from different traditions from different parts of the diaspora. Options include assorted soul foods, gumbo, okra, bananas, and couscous. Kwanzaa can be a great time to try a new recipe or prepare a favorite dish that will be passed down from generation to generation. These special parties or karamu can be held every day or on the sixth night of Kwanzaa.

Another aspect of Kwanzaa is gift giving. Gifts are traditionally presented on the seventh day of Kwanzaa and focus on handcrafted items intended for children.

What decorations are used for Kwanzaa?

There are a few things needed to properly celebrate Kwanzaa, including several centerpieces to place on a table during the holiday season.

Perhaps the most important piece is theGoalcandlestick. This candle holder holds seven candles - one for each day of Kwanzaa.

An ear of corn (real or decorative) is also placed on the table and symbolizes fertility. Traditionally, there is an ear of corn for each child.

oneUnitor a unit cup is used to pour libations from Kwanzaa each day to honor the departed.

Finally oneBeltCarpet symbolizes tradition and is where all centerpieces are placed.

Additional items to consider as a symbol of unity are flags such as the Pan-African flag, which symbolizes the importance of Pan-African unity and bears the colors most associated with Kwanzaa.

(Video) What Is Kwanzaa? | How is Kwanzaa celebrated? Learn about Kwanzaa in this fun holiday video for kids

How many candles for Kwanzaa

A kinara contains a total of seven candles, with one more candle lit each day, starting with the middle candle, and alternating red and green each day, starting in the middle. Candle colors have meaning. The central black color symbolizes the people, the three green candles symbolize the land, and the three red candles symbolize the blood or struggles of the people.

Do you give gifts to Kwanzaa?

While giftgiving is not a core part of Kwanzaa, gifts still play a role. They are usually given on the last day of Kwanzaa. Traditionally, gifts are intended for children and must be handmade, although this is certainly not a hard and fast rule. Above all, seek to support Black entrepreneurs and Black-owned businesses. This is a way of honoring several of the Kwanzaa principles at the same time.

Kwanzaa Gift Ideas

1. A series of Kwanzaa

It doesn't take much to celebrate Kwanzaa with this gorgeous setLodge Kwanzaa, you get almost everything you need at once. This set includes a mat, flag, basket and mug. The most impressive thing is that it comes with a beautiful wooden kinara and candles. You can choose from several beautiful Ghanaian symbols to place on the kinara or have cowrie shells placed on it. With this set you only have to do without the corn.

$96 and Loja Kwanzaa

2. A beautiful record

South Bend's planned celebration of Kwanzaa and everything you need to know about the holiday (3)

Because food is such an important part of Kwanzaa, when you have guests to celebrate you want a tray that makes serving food easier. Which tray is better suited for this occasion than this beautiful porcelain from54 Stomach, an interior design company founded in Ghana that emphasizes African designs. This special dish has been carefully handcrafted in Zimbabwe.

$304 for 54 cubic feet

3. Brilliant Trivia Game or BS

South Bend's planned celebration of Kwanzaa and everything you need to know about the holiday (4)

Developed by Jamaican TV producer Kimelia Weathers-Smith, Brilliant or BS is a unique and hilarious trivia game. Players answer a variety of multiple choice trivia questions; The kicker is that a judge has to determine if they really know what they are doing or if they are bluffing. It's a game that rewards being clever and persuasive. It's sure to brighten up any gathering, Kwanzaa or otherwise.

US$ 14 pro Tag

4. Mancala-Set

South Bend's planned celebration of Kwanzaa and everything you need to know about the holiday (5)

(Video) Kwanzaa - Holiday History

You may have heard of mancala, but did you know that the game has been played across Africa for centuries? Possible evidence of the game has been found in Eritrea, Egypt and Ethiopia. Regardless of its origins, the board game is now enjoyed in many African countries and has become a major symbol of Pan-Africanism. If you want to taste manga, we recommend buying this beautiful handmade plate fromEtsy.

$60 tun Etsy

5. Camille Rose

South Bend's planned celebration of Kwanzaa and everything you need to know about the holiday (6)

Camille Rose is another great black-owned brand to endorse this Kwanzaa. Founder Janell Stephens created the brand to help treat her children's dermatitis and it quickly became a successful brand known for its products for different hair textures. For a taste of what this exciting brand has to offer, try their Honey Rinse collection. Reviewers rave about how well it moisturizes hair. Also, it smells really good.

$14 from Camille Rose

6. Whiskey next uncle

South Bend's planned celebration of Kwanzaa and everything you need to know about the holiday (7)

Did you know that the famous Jack Daniel applied his whiskey making skills to the teachings of aBlack, master distiller? Nathan "Uncle Nearest" Green was an ex-slave whose work as a silent mind helped make the famous whiskey brand what it is today. His key role in the company was lost for decades. To honor him by making sure everyone knows the name "Uncle Nearest", Green's descendants and researchers operate a premium whiskey brand. Since its inception in 2016, Uncle Nearest has won numerous awards for its smooth taste. If you're a whiskey fanatic or want to try something new, give Uncle Nearest a shot at this Kwanzaa.

$49 from the next uncle

7. I'Genia Sheabutter

South Bend's planned celebration of Kwanzaa and everything you need to know about the holiday (8)

(Video) Detailed How to Celebrate Kwanzaa, 2021 Recap

Shea butter has long been a favorite beauty product for many, with women of color being particularly big fans of the extract. It's great for moisturizing, it smells delicious and it's all natural. Perhaps shea butter's biggest downside is its texture—its thickness and hardness are a little unwieldy if you're used to smoother creams. Luckily, black-owned Eu'Genia Shea solves this problem by making a shea butter that's as buttery as regular cream. Daily use of Eu'Genia Shea is said to promote smooth, vibrant and anti-aging skin. We're not saying it's the fountain of youth, but there's no harm in trying, right? This variety pack contains lavender, grapefruit, and unscented shea butter.

$61 from Eu'Genia

8. Be Rooted Diary

South Bend's planned celebration of Kwanzaa and everything you need to know about the holiday (9)

Be Rooted was founded with the goal of helping black women see themselves in places (and products) they don't often appear in, from calendars to planners to magazines. Be Rooted is based on a simple yet powerful statement: “You belong here.” What better way to assert yourself than by writing in a journal where your creativity can shine each day? Shoppers love Be Rooted magazines because they feel represented and inspired every time they open them.

$ 16 en Be rooted

9. Li Li's creations

South Bend's planned celebration of Kwanzaa and everything you need to know about the holiday (10)

Li Li's Creations is a small clothing store founded by New Yorker Malacia Anderson that combines bold, African-inspired designs with silky, flowy kimonos. She combines her experience and love of all things vintage with her sense of culture to create clothes like no other. With shades of gold, green, orange and black reminiscent of an ethereal forest, this sequin Harusi kimono is as perfect for weddings as it is for brunch.

$285 worth of Li Li creations

10. Make-up Ami Cole

South Bend's planned celebration of Kwanzaa and everything you need to know about the holiday (11)

Senegalese-American businesswoman Diarrha N'Diaye-Mbaye felt makeup options were limited for people with a lot of melanin, so she foundedfriend Kohlin 2018. Since then, this brand has been making waves with its inclusive mission statement and great products. Ami Colé's lip treatments add moisture, color and shine without leaving a sticky feeling. The lip care trio is available in a rosy brown tone, a subtle light pink and a clear one. beginningFreitag, 30.12, Ami Cole will be availableSephora, but if you want to give Ami Colé away at these parties, you can now buy it directly from the brand's e-commerce.

$50 by Amy Cole

11. Royal Nation

South Bend's planned celebration of Kwanzaa and everything you need to know about the holiday (12)

(Video) Kwanzaa Documentary (1990)

Royal Nation founder Lauren Hayes said identifying with characters is an important part of child development. That's why she createdroyal nation, where each item of clothing is attached to colorful characters for kids to hold onto. For example, the character Lance, who teaches children that it's okay to find their own path to happiness even if it doesn't always make good economic sense, wears a sweatshirt that can be bought for children. Featuring an uplifting life quote on the back, this hoodie is more than a sweatshirt - it's an inspirational statement that sits at the heart of the Kwanzaa gift offering.

$45 from Royal Nation

12. African

South Bend's planned celebration of Kwanzaa and everything you need to know about the holiday (13)

If you would like to give this Kwanzaa to more traditional African clothing or just want to support local African creatives,Africanshould be on your radar. Afrikrea is a showcase connecting African entrepreneurs with consumers around the world. Afrikrea's goal is to spread African culture in such a way that it becomes a mainstay on the global stage.Stick Proof Modeis a Ghanaian store with numerous eye-catching clothing items. This traditional two-piece men's outfit is simple yet striking thanks to the brown accent.

$115 is African

13. Roots of Health Dolls

South Bend's planned celebration of Kwanzaa and everything you need to know about the holiday (14)

The toys we play with can have a profound impact on how we see the world and ourselves. Many children love to play with dolls, but often these dolls do not reflect their appearance. Healthy Roots Dolls creates dolls that celebrate diversity in skin color and hair. The curly hair of these dolls can teach children to care and love their own hair. In addition to the dolls, Healthy Roots Dolls sells a variety of accessories that kids will love too.

US$85 since Healthy Roots Pupae

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Prices were correct at the time this article was published, but may change over time.

This article was originally published in Revised:Kwanzaa 2022 Guide: What It Is and How to Celebrate It


What are 5 facts about Kwanzaa? ›

Fun Facts About Kwanzaa
  • Many people of African heritage in Canada also celebrate this holiday.
  • Each of the candles represents a different principle.
  • The candles are different colors; black, green, or red. ...
  • It is not considered a religious holiday.
  • The first US postage stamp commemorating Kwanzaa was issued in 1997.

What do you need to know about Kwanzaa? ›

Kwanzaa is a week-long celebration that begins annually on December 26 and continues through New Years Day. The celebration culminates with a communal feast, Karamu. Drawing from kwanza, the Swahili for “first,” Kwanzaa honors African and African American culture and was created by Maulana Karenga in 1966.

What is the purpose of the Kwanzaa holiday? ›

Kwanzaa is a time of learning, family and celebration. During the week of Kwanzaa, families and communities come together to share a feast, to honor the ancestors, affirm the bonds between them, and to celebrate African and African American culture.

What is Kwanzaa and how is it celebrated? ›

Kwanzaa is a weeklong celebration held in the United States that honors African heritage in African-American culture. Kwanzaa is observed from December 26th to January 1st, and culminates in gift giving and a big feast. The holiday is relatively new, compared to other holidays celebrated in the U.S. Dr.

What is traditional Kwanzaa food? ›

Starches range as well and can include rice or couscous, candied yams, buttermilk biscuits and spoonbread, plantains, fritters, hoppin' John and injera. The most-important thing is that the meal is shared, as Kwanzaa is at its heart a holiday about community.

What do you eat on Kwanzaa? ›

A typical feast might include okra stew, gumbo, jambalaya, collard greens, and other favorite dishes. Like all holidays, families each have their own take on how to celebrate Kwanzaa.

How do people celebrate Kwanzaa every day? ›

  1. Create a Display. The first step to celebrating Kwanzaa is setting up a display that represents the seven principles. ...
  2. Light the Kinara. ...
  3. Host Your Own Party. ...
  4. Immerse In Black History. ...
  5. Give Back to Your Community. ...
  6. Support Black-Owned Businesses. ...
  7. Find An Event In Your Neighborhood. ...
  8. Prepare a Traditional Feast.
Dec 4, 2022

What clothing do people wear during Kwanzaa? ›

There is no dress code for Kwanzaa, but some who observe the holiday choose to wear traditional African garb, either for the Kwanzaa feast or all throughout the week. Women of all ages typically wear kaftans and head wraps, while men usually wear a dashiki over pants and a kufi cap.

What three things are celebrated during Kwanzaa? ›

Each of the days of the celebration is dedicated to one of the seven principles of Kwanzaa: unity (umoja), self-determination (kujichagulia), collective responsibility (ujima), cooperative economics (ujamaa), purpose (nia), creativity (kuumba), and faith (imani).

What are the 7 rules of Kwanzaa? ›

You are here
  • Kwanzaa is inclusive.
  • 1) Umoja (Unity)
  • 2) Kujichagulia (Self-Determination)
  • 3) Ujima (Collective Work and Responsibility)
  • 4) Ujamaa (Cooperative Economics)
  • 5) Nia (Purpose)
  • 6) Kuumba (Creativity)
  • Imani (Faith)
Dec 22, 2021

What is the most important day of Kwanzaa? ›

This is why the last day of Kwanzaa, which means faith, is the most important to Misago: Imani. “Kwanzaa is important to Muslims as well, we celebrate it together. To Muslims, words like 'Nia' are a part of them. Iman in Islam is the same as Imani in Kwanzaa,” he said.

Who started Kwanzaa and why? ›

American Maulana Karenga created Kwanzaa in 1966 during the aftermath of the Watts riots as a specifically African-American holiday.

Do you give gifts at Kwanzaa? ›

Like many other holidays around this time of year, Kwanzaa incorporates gift-giving into its week-long festivities. On the last day, New Year's Day, people exchange Zawadi ("gifts" in Swahili). Kwanzaa prioritizes gift-giving that is meaningful, tied to African heritage, and often handmade.

What do you do during Kwanzaa? ›

It's a time that's been celebrated throughout the continent for generations. During the week, families gather to give gifts, share feasts, and light candles in honor of their ancestors and their hopes for the future. Though Kwanzaa became a mainstream holiday in the 1980s, its traditions have faded in recent years.

What do you do on the first day of Kwanzaa? ›

On the first day of Kwanzaa, December 26, the leader or minister calls everyone together and greets them with the official question: "Habari gani?" ("What's happening?"), to which they respond with the name of the first principle: "Umoja." The ritual is repeated on each day of the Kwanzaa celebration, but the answer ...

What is Kwanzaa symbol? ›

The primary symbols of Kwanzaa are the seven candles (Mishumaa Sabaa), which represent the seven principles (more on that below), the candle holder (Kinara), unity cup (Kikombe cha Umoja), placemat (Mkeka), crops (Mazao), corn (Muhindi), and gifts (Zawadi). All items are displayed on the Mkeka.

Why is it called Kwanzaa? ›

The word Kwanzaa comes from the Swahili phrase, “matunda ya kwanza” or first fruits, referring to First fruits or Harvest festivals that are found throughout Africa. Kwanzaa was created in 1966 by Maulana Ron Karenga to: 1) Reaffirm and restore African heritage and culture.

Who created Kwanzaa? ›

Maulana Karenga unveiled Kwanzaa in 1966 to fill the gaps where the U.S. had failed African Americans. Set against the backdrop of the civil rights movement, the seven-day celebration urged the African American community to define and uplift itself.

What do you drink during Kwanzaa? ›

If you celebrate Kwanzaa, a stinger is the cocktail for you. Invented in the early 1900s by African-American Tom Bullock, it's a great way to pay tribute to the unity of African-American culture in the states. The recipe is simple – blend a two to one ratio of brandy and creme de menthe, shake well, and serve over ice.

What fruit is used for Kwanzaa? ›

Bowls of fruits and vegetables also rest on the Kwanzaa table and include bananas, mangoes, potatoes, cabbages and more. These crops (mzao) represent the history of the African-American people and what can come from collective labor. Corn (mkeka) represents children and hope for the future.

What fruits are eaten during Kwanzaa? ›

Karamu dishes include the first fruits of the harvest

The first foods of the harvest in many African countries likely included mango, pineapple, okra, oranges, eggplant, and yams, (via the Institute of Culinary Education). These ingredients make their way to the Kwanzaa table often in the form of side dishes.

What gift do you give on the first day of Kwanzaa? ›

Karenga states that Kwanzaa gifts should include two items: a book and a heritage symbol, and that those gifts should never serve as a substitution for love, attention, and involvement with a child. Zawadi can also be given to family members.

What is the first day of Kwanzaa called? ›

The first day of Kwanzaa is called Umoja and starts December 26.

Do you fast during Kwanzaa? ›

During Kwanzaa, some people abstain from eating meat or fast until the Kwanzaa feast. This decision is a personal choice. The decision to omit meat can also be linked to Kwanzaa principles, such as self-determination and faith.

What food do kids have for Kwanzaa? ›

Some possibilities include black-eyed peas with rice and ham, seasoned black beans and rice, fried catfish, macaroni and cheese, gumbo, and curried chicken and banana soup. Additionally, any special foods that feel festive or culturally relevant for your family can work as well.

How long does Kwanzaa last? ›

What Is Kwanzaa? Kwanzaa is a week-long holiday held annually from December 26 to January 1. Fundamentally, it celebrates family, culture, community, and the harvest.

What language is Kwanzaa? ›

Started in 1966 as a way for African Americans to celebrate their cultural heritage, Kwanzaa uses the East African language, Swahili, to name its days.

What is the Kwanzaa candle holder called? ›

Candle Lighting:

During Kwanzaa a special candle holder called a kinara is used. A kinara holds seven candles, three red ones on the left, three green ones on the right with a black candle in the center.

What is the true history of Kwanzaa? ›

Kwanzaa was created in the 1960s.

Maulana Karenga, a Black nationalist who later became a college professor, created Kwanzaa as a way of uniting and empowering the African American community in the aftermath of the deadly Watts Rebellion.

What is the theme for Kwanzaa 2022? ›

This celebration is based around seven major principles which are, according to Karenga, a communitarian African philosophy: unity, self-determination, collective work and responsibility, cooperative economics, purpose, creativity and faith.

Who brought Kwanzaa to America? ›

Maulana Karenga, professor and chairman of Black Studies at California State University, Long Beach, created Kwanzaa in 1966. After the Watts riots in Los Angeles, Dr. Karenga searched for ways to bring African Americans together as a community.

Do you say happy Kwanzaa? ›

You can celebrate both Christmas and Kwanzaa

Karenga wanted Kwanzaa to be a nonreligious holiday for African-American families to come together and celebrate their ancestral roots. So you can have your merry Christmas and a happy Kwanzaa, too.

What do the colors of Kwanzaa mean? ›

They are black, red and green. Black is 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 Honorable Marcus Garvey as national colors for African people throughout the world.

What are 3 interesting facts about Kwanzaa? ›

Fun Facts About Kwanzaa
  • Kwanzaa is observed over 7 days. ...
  • Kwanzaa has 7 main principles. ...
  • Kwanzaa has 7 primary symbols. ...
  • Kwanzaa is observed with 7 candles. ...
  • Kwanzaa is Swahili. ...
  • Traditional African clothing is worn throughout the Kwanzaa holiday. ...
  • The last day of Kwanzaa is celebrated with a karamu.
Nov 25, 2020

How old is Kwanzaa? ›

It was created by activist Maulana Karenga, based on African harvest festival traditions from various parts of West and Southeast Africa. Kwanzaa was first celebrated in 1966.

What is Kwanzaa info for kids? ›

Celebrated every year from December 26 through January 1, Kwanzaa is a week of festivities honoring African American culture and heritage. Friends and family gather each day to give thanks, exchange gifts, and share feasts.

What is the main symbol of Kwanzaa? ›

The primary symbols of Kwanzaa are the seven candles (Mishumaa Sabaa), which represent the seven principles (more on that below), the candle holder (Kinara), unity cup (Kikombe cha Umoja), placemat (Mkeka), crops (Mazao), corn (Muhindi), and gifts (Zawadi).


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