Kwanzaa Guide for Metro Detroit and Ann Arbor Families

If you're looking for some fun and unique ways to celebrate Kwanzaa, this family guide has got you covered.

Kwanzaa, the African American cultural celebration of life, was introduced in 1966 by Dr. Maulana Karenga as a ritual to welcome the first harvests to the home and build both pride and unity within the Black community, according to The Africa Center at the University of Pennsylvania

Since then, Kwanzaa and its seven principles (Umoja, Kujichagulia, Ujima, Ujamma, Nia, Kuumba and Imani) has been celebrated by many African American families through dancing, singing, the Kinara lighting and a huge feast with loved ones. 

Families who celebrate Kwanzaa can have fun with crafts, recipes and activities listed in this guide below.

The food

Sitting down and having a meal with your loved ones is essential to celebrating this holiday. If you want to try something new, we suggest these fun recipes. 

Kwanzaa activities

Red, green and black — the colors of the Black Liberation flag — are an important part of the holiday. Many families decorate their homes in these colors and set up a seven-branch candleholder known as a Kinara, with seven red, green and black candles, one of which is lit each day during Kwanzaa. 

For families with kids, you may be looking for ways to tap into their creativity with these colors and they can with these fun craft ideas. 

Looking for even more Kwanzaa fun? Check out the Metro Parent roundup of Kwanzaa Family Events happening this year! 

Happy Kwanzaa! 


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Metro Parent Editorial Team
Metro Parent Editorial Team
Since 1986, the Metro Parent editorial team is trained to be the go-to source for metro Detroit families, offering a rich blend of expert advice, compelling stories, and the top local activities for kids. Renowned for their award-winning content, the team of editors and writers are dedicated to enriching family life by connecting parents with the finest resources and experiences our community has to offer.

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