Can you answer the question “When is Kwanzaa in 2017?” immediately? As a rule, many people all over the planet even haven’t heard about this unusual day. But it isn’t for a good reason. Why? – The matter’s that this event’s celebrated only by the representatives of a special community. But at the same time it’s believed to one of the brightest, merriest and funniest celebrations of the whole year.
But let’s start to discuss it from the very beginning and find out as much information about Kwanzaa as possible.
Frankly speaking, it’s impossible to reply the mentioned above question “What is the date of Kwanzaa 2017?” without explaining the historical background of this amazing holiday.
As it known quite well, initially this celebration was organized more than 50 years ago, in 1966, by a person called Maulana Karenga. This man was a perfect and rather popular professor, who’s working as reputable California State University. When the severe and disastrous riots were stopped in LA, he decided to unite all the Afro-Americans together. He was sure, that these people have to keep and to save their traditions. And that’s why it was made a decision to invent and to promote very impressive festival, combining several traditions in one event.
Originally Kwanzaa was organized by Americans that’s the reason why it isn’t a surprise that it was initially celebrated only by the representatives of this country. But in the course of time it became popular and shared all over the planet. Up to the latest moment, as to the statistics, nowadays it’s celebrated by more than 20 million people every year.
What does Kwanzaa mean? Let’s discover in details. We’ve already mentioned above that it was Maulana Karenga, a rather famous for that time fighter for the proper right of local African Americans. This man was also a former honored member of the “Black Panthers” leftist party as well as the reputable professor and PhD UCLA.
In the personal promotional speeches Maulana Karenga proposed the American dark-skinned population to forget completely about the culture of other nations and to keep their own traditions. In accordance with this, for example, they shouldn’t celebrate American Christmas, trying to do everything possible to restore the own historical moments.
Nowadays Kwanzaa is considered to be a so-called secular festival that is able to return Afro-Americans their fame and amazing traditions. By the way, it has its own name, which is pronounced like “matunda ya kwanza” from the Swahili. We can even translate it into English as “first fruits”.
We should also mention that many expressions, which’re used during Kwanzaa, come from Swahili. All in all this language is nowadays considered to be a definite representative of all African modern heritage.
All over the planet people celebrate quite different holidays and events. Especially it concerns the winter ones. Somebody is waiting for the snowy Christmas, other are looking for charming Chanukah, but there are those, who’re fond Kwanzaa. Have you heard about it already? – Frankly speaking, it is nothing more but a pre-New Year festival of Afro-American people. According to relatively old tradition, they start to celebrate it on December 26 and finish just after the New Year coming on January 1.
The borders of this festive period are fixed and it takes not more than one week and is celebrated annually without any definite exceptions.
We should mention that as to the creators’ point of view, it’s a perfect idea, aimed to combine and to unite Afro-American people as well as to save and to represent their amazing cultural traditions.
Frankly speaking there are definitions for every object during this holiday. But when we are talking about Kwanzaa candles, the order of their lighting is also very important. They should be lit from left to right, and the red item has to be taken at the very beginning. And the procedure is always finished with a green object.
Kwanzaa is against any consumer and materialism. That’s the reason these men and women give each other small or sometimes even tiny gifts. Especially appreciated are things of spiritual and educational characters.
According to the common tradition, the special candles are lit every day one by one.
The people usually greet each other with special words sounded like “Habari Gani”, which can be translated into English from Swahili like “What is new in your life?” Would you like to know how to answer this question in a proper way. Frankly speaking, there is no any single answer. All in mentioned case mostly depends on the year, as the festival principles can be changed.
Knowing properly what day Kwanzaa in 2017 is, you are always able to take a very active part in the annual celebration. And the least thing that can be done in to say “Happy Kwanzaa” to everybody you meet.
Frankly speaking there are many traditions to keep this occasion among the community representatives. Let’s discuss some of them in details.
When is Kwanzaa in 2017, calendar’ll tell you any time without any problems. You’d pay attention to this information if you want to celebrate in into a proper time. First of all, the house or at least the main part of the dwelling premise should be decorated. There are some special symbols. Table covered with green cloth has to be set in the middle of the room. On the table you should arrange Mkeka, which is a rug of wool and straw. They symbolize the special relationship between contemporary people and their African ancestors.
Mkeka includes the following things:
- Fruit or crops called Mazao should be arranged in a bowl. This component symbolizes productivity;
- Large 7 candles in the candlestick, which have special names Mishumaa Saba and Kinara correspondingly;
- The spike Muhindi is prepared for every child, both small and large. Those who don’t have children should bring a pair of them for community kids.
- A great choice of various gifts for small children, which’s called Zawadi.
- The last symbol is Kikombe cha Umoja, which’s represented by bowl as a special symbol of family unity.
Decorating the house for holiday you shouldn’t forget about the flags Bendera and various posters for wall, which depict seven principles. Some people buy them, others prefer to do themselves. Don’t forget, that as a rule, the contemporary children appreciate the idea to create something special together with their parents.
We’d also mention that this holiday was organized for a definite purpose. It has to show all the main principles, necessary for creation and strengthening of Afro-American community. They’re the following:
- Collective work;
There are three official colors of the holiday: black, green and red. They’ve different symbolization. For example, red means the struggle of native Africans, saturated green says about the hope for positive future and black has two explanations, meaning African people and Earth at the same time. Usually the candles, which are of the hint mentioned above, are set in the very middle of the festive table in decorated candleholders, which has all together have a very special name Quinara.
In accordance with the tradition, Kwanzaa is a holiday, which is against any materialism. It means that specific investments as well as any expensive gifts are really forbidden.
Unfortunately contemporary businessmen don’t want to obey any rules. The only things they appreciate are to make as much money as it is possible. As a result these days you can find out a great amount of production performed just for this holiday and the festival themes are almost everywhere.
By the way because of pagan roots only 2% of Afro-Americans celebrate Kwanzaa these days. Others choose ordinary holidays, which are kept all over the country. At the same time this holiday doesn’t abandon any other religions. Only at the very beginning it was the day, which rejected the so-called “white people religion” but nowadays it isn’t appreciated.
But there are some contradictions in this event. Many US citizens, confessing Buddhism and Hinduism, feel to be discriminated. Why? – The representatives of these directions say that no president has congratulated them on their holidays, but to Kwanzaa there are a lot of official occasions.
Do you know how many days in Kwanzaa are? Or would you like to know how to say hello during Kwanzaa holidays? Let’s discuss it in details, but mind that this will be not easy.
- The 1st day (December 26) say merrily “Umoja”, which will mean “happy unity”;
- The 2nd day (December 27) people usually tell “Kujichagulia” as a mark of self-determination;
- The 3rd day (December 28) there is a word “Ujima” for collective work and high responsibility;
- The 4th day of Kwanzaa (December 29) we may greet people with “Ujamaa” and they will understand it like “Joint economy”;
- The 5th day of Kwanzaa (December 30) Afro-Americans say each other “Nia”, which means “Aim”;
- For the 6th day (December 31) there is an expression “Kuumba”, which’re used for “creativity”;
- The last day of Kwanzaa in 2017 you can tell “Imani” to your friends and they will take it as a belief.
Nowadays Kwanzaa parties become more and more popular. If you want to organize it at home, you shouldn’t forget about drumming, special music, a set of the main principles and chapters for historical books, which’d be read carefully aloud, object in corresponding shades, ritual candles and various artistic performances.
In the contemporary world there’re many possibilities and opportunities to celebrate any holiday you like. Some of them are really beautiful, bright and colorful. And it simultaneously means that you are always able to try them to together with your close friends, ordinary mates and dearest relatives.