Learn how Kwanzaa, a holiday honoring African-American culture, is celebrated.
While Kwanzaa has gained mainstream popularity in recent years, for white people and non-Black people of color, the week-long holiday is still relatively unknown. [Some people may not even know that Kwanzaa wasn't established until the 1960s.]I WOULD CUT THIS The annual holiday celebrating African-American culture was created by American professor Dr. Maulana Karenga in 1966, following the Watts Riots of 1965. Dr. Karenga’s goal was to give Black people an opportunity to celebrate themselves and their history, and the name Kwanzaa was inspired by the Swahili phrase matunda ya kwanza, meaning “first fruits of the harvest.” Kwanzaa may have become more commercialized over the past 54 years, but not everyone is familiar with the traditions of Kwanzaa and why they're so special.
From lighting candles to exchanging gifts, Kwanzaa bears a similarity to other winter holidays (though, when celebrating Kwanzaa, the presents aren’t nearly as important as the traditions). Here are all the Kwanzaa traditions that take place between December 26 and January 1.