This Past Kwanzaa

This past Kwanzaa was from Saturday, December 26- Friday, January 1, 2020.

I’ll be completely honest, I haven’t celebrated Kwanzaa using a Kinara since I last posted about it. It’s a routine I wanted to continue and finally picked back up. I even have a Kinara, but need to work on getting more adornments this year. It’s a process!

I do wish I would of journaled it daily to share the experience, but it was magical and one I hope to share next year.

Here is a photo to hopefully inspire or make you grin and it’s lack of harvest…Next year’s will be even better! I promise

My Animoji
6th day of Kwanzaa in my home, December 31st, 2019 (in need of corn to represent the children of the community)

This past Kwanzaa, I recall teaching my students about a holiday from my culture and I enjoyed seeing how truly interested they were in it. One day I feel it will be more widely celebrated than now, so it’s important for me to jot down the development of my own journey with the holiday.

Keep in mind the seven principles (nguzo saba) of Kwanzaa utilize Kiswahili words.

They are:

Unity (umoja)

Self-determination (kujichagulia)

Collective work and responsibility (ujima)

Cooperative economics (ujamaa)

Purpose (nia)

Creativity (kuumba) and,

Faith (imani)

Each of the seven candles signify the principles, and each day my partner and I lit them with the black first, then a red, then a green one and so on. As we lit them we would share the communal greeting of “Habari gani?,” which means, “What’s the news?” We would then say the principal of the day and reflect on it’s meaning for us the day and the year. We did this daily and on the last night we celebrated with a crab boil and a small gift exchange to celebrate our faith and the New Year! 


I hope to hear how you will prepare to celebrate for Kwanzaa this year! Even though it’s quite far, it’s important we plan this to keep the tradition going. As we spend these days in quarantine let’s reflect and when we think of the positive we can even plan for creating future family traditions.