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December 30, 1966

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Kwanzaa, the fifth day ~ nia or purpose (Category : Events)
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Kwanzaa, the fifth day
Kwanzaa, a variation of the Swahili word for "first", is a seven day holiday observed by many Black Americans. It begins each December 26 and ends January 1. Each day celebrates a different principle: umoja or unity, kujichagulia or self-determination, ujima or collective work and responsibility, ujamaa or cooperative economics, nia or purpose, ukuumba or creativity, and imani or faith.

Kwanzaa is not celebrated in Africa. Instead, it is a distinctly Black American tradition; however, the ceremonies and traditions of Kwanzaa are a combination of harvest festival traditions from many African ethnic groups, including the Ashanti, Zulus, Yourbas and Ibos.

Kwanzaa was founded by Dr. Maulana Karenga in 1966 (in the wake of the Watts riots and other civil disturbances) as a culturally unifying celebration. Although it is a young holiday, as these things go, its celebration has spread rapidly, making it one of the truly national Black American holidays.


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