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A Brief History of Kwanzaa and How to Celebrate It

Kwanzaa is an African-American cultural observance that falls in the month of December. In the United States, it was created by Maulana Karenga in 1966 as an alternative to Christmas and Hanukkah, but more representative of African-American culture and history. The first Kwanzaa celebration was held on December 26th, 1966, and continues today as a recognized holiday by African-Americans across the world. It celebrates the African harvest and key cultural values.

We wish you a Happy Kwanzaa from Cardinal Cleaning! We hope to educate and spread cultural awareness through our community near Conyers, Georgia and beyond. Continue reading to learn more!

The Definition of Kwanzaa

Kwanzaa is a seven-day African American holiday that celebrates family, community, and culture. It is typically observed from December 26 to January 1st. The name Kwanzaa comes from the Swahili phrase “matunda ya kwanza” which roughly translates to “first fruits of the harvest”. Kwanzaa was coined in 1966 by Dr. Maulana Karenga as a way to bring African Americans together after the Watts Riots and tumultuous times. Families celebrate Kwanzaa and their culture by cleaning and decorating their homes, exchanging gifts, and spending time with loved ones.

The History of Kwanzaa

On each day, one of the seven principles is honored through an activity related to its meaning. For example, on December 27th the principle of unity is celebrated with a feast, while on December 31st self-determination is honored with cleanliness rituals. It is historically significant as it encourages African Americans to appreciate and bask in their heritage or culture, regardless of where they now live. This is extra meaningful as they faced many struggles and were often discriminated against. So, it gives them an opportunity to celebrate all that they have overcome as a community, as well as motivation to continue the legacy.

What Are The Seven Principles For Living

As aforementioned, Kwanzaa is a seven-day African American holiday, and each day focuses on one of the seven key principles. The seven principles of Kwanzaa are unity, self-determination, collective work and responsibility, cooperative economics, purpose, creativity, and faith. People celebrate Kwanzaa by lighting a kinara (candle holder with seven candles), giving gifts, decorating with colors that represent the holiday (black, red, and green), and feasting. On the first day of Kwanzaa, a black candle is lit in the center of the kinara followed by three red candles on the left side and three green candles on the right side.

Cleaning and Decorating for Kwanzaa

Before Kwanzaa can begin, you need to make sure your home is clean and decorated. After all, this is a time to celebrate! Start by giving your home a good cleaning. Wash the windows, vacuum the floors, and dust everything off. Once your home is clean, you can start decorating. To celebrate Kwanzaa, many people clean their homes and decorate them with African symbols. One popular decoration is the kinara, which is a seven-branched candelabra. Each branch represents one of the seven principles of Kwanzaa.

Other decorations include colorful fabrics, fruits, vegetables, and grains. Many people use red, black, and green to decorate for Kwanzaa. These colors represent different aspects of African culture. Red represents the blood that was shed during the struggle for freedom, black represents the African people, and green represents the growth and prosperity of Africa. You can use these colors in any way you like – whether that be through traditional decorations like candles or through more modern decorations like hanging banners or streamers.

Contact Us!

Need your home cleaned for Kwanzaa or any other celebration? You know who to call!

Get your home ready for the celebration of Kwanzaa and other holidays! Cardinal Cleaning will take care of what we do best – the cleaning! You can reach us at 404-920-8551 or email us at hello@cardinalcleaning.com for a free quote.

Cardinal Cleaning values consistent, quality service, and trustworthy business practices. Our cleaners will use proper procedures and techniques to ensure you and your loved ones can enjoy cleanliness in your home. If you are in need of a cleaning service that provides consistent quality and service, we are your go-to local cleaning service serving Conyers, Georgia, as well as nearby areas including Covington, Loganville, Oxford, and Mcdonough. We would love to do the cleaning for you and yours this holiday season! Like we say, cleaning is for the birds!