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.
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.
- Diverse Holiday Treat Ideas for Families to Make Together: This list of recipes offers beene seed wafers and sweet potato cupcakes for Kwanzaa — plus Christmas, Hanukkah and Divali ideas, too!
- The Best Kwanzaa Recipes from the Food Network: This page of recipes from Food Network offers a new twist on southern collard greens, curried sweet potato puree and much more.
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.
- Kwanzaa Crafts from Activity Village: This roundup offers fun ideas including a handpring Kinara, African drums and a Unity Cup craft.
- Kwanzaa Crafts from Fun Family Crafts: Check out this site for a folded paper or egg carton Kwanzaa Kinaras, flags of Africa cards, Kwanzaa flags and more.
Looking for even more Kwanzaa fun? Check out the Metro Parent roundup of Kwanzaa Family Events happening this year!
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