Kwanzaa was introduced by Dr. Maulana Karenga, an African-American studies professor, in 1966. The holiday is very similar to Thanksgiving, or the Yam Festival, which celebrates a good harvest, or having plenty, in Nigeria.
Fun facts about Kwanzaa:
The word "kwanza" is a KiSwahili (Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania) word meaning "first".
Five common sets of values are central to the activities of the week: ingathering, reverence, commemoration, recommitment and celebration.
The symbols of Kwanzaa includes crops (mzao) which represents the historical roots of African-Americans in agriculture and also the reward for collective labor.
Ways to celebrate Kwanzaa
At the beginning of a celebration, greet everyone by saying "Habari gani" which is Kiswahili for "how are you/how's the news with you?"
Kwanzaa is a time of thanksgiving, and one way we show how grateful we are for someone is by exchanging gifts with them.
Traditionally celebrated on December 31, you can celebrate with a banquet of food, often various African dishes.
Learn more on how to celebrate Kwanzaa.