· By Mr. Well-Travelled

Exploring Kwanzaa: Top 10 Questions

Happy Kwanzaa or Habari Gani!

For the next seven days, families and communities will come together and reflect on the past, celebrate the present, and envision a bright future. 

If you are new to Kwanzaa, you probably have a lot of questions. In this post, we will explore the top 10 questions about Kwanzaa and provide answers to help you understand the origin, significance, and practices of this important holiday.


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1. What is the meaning of Kwanzaa?

Created in 1966 by Maulana Karenga, a professor of Africana Studies, Kwanzaa is an African-American and Pan-African holiday that celebrates African heritage and culture while promoting family, community, and culture.


2. When is Kwanzaa celebrated?

Kwanzaa is celebrated from December 26 to January 1 every year.


3. What are the seven principles of Kwanzaa?

The seven principles of Kwanzaa are:

  • Umoja (unity)
  • Kujichagulia (self-determination)
  • Ujima (collective work and responsibility)
  • Ujamaa (cooperative economics)
  • Nia (purpose)
  • Kuumba (creativity)
  • Imani (faith)


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4. How is Kwanzaa celebrated?

During Kwanzaa, people often celebrate with activities, such as:

  • lighting candles
  • sharing meals (karamu)
  • exchanging gifts


5. Is Kwanzaa a religious holiday?

Kwanzaa is not a religious holiday, but it is based on traditional African first fruit ceremonies, which are rooted in African spiritual beliefs.


6. Is Kwanzaa a public holiday?

Kwanzaa is not a public holiday in the United States, but it is recognized and celebrated by many people of African descent.


7. What are the symbols of Kwanzaa?

The symbols of Kwanzaa include:

  • kinara (candleholder)
  • mazao (crops)
  • mkeka (mat)
  • zawadi (gifts)
  • libation cup


8. How do you say "Happy Kwanzaa"?

In Swahili, "Happy Kwanzaa" is "Habari Gani," which means "What's the news?"


9. What do the colors of Kwanzaa represent?

The colors of Kwanzaa are red, black, and green, and they represent the blood of African ancestors, the African people, and the land of Africa, respectively.


10. Is Kwanzaa celebrated internationally?

Kwanzaa is primarily celebrated in the United States, but it is also celebrated by people of African descent around the world.


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