LINKIN MALL KWANZAA: KWANZAA CARDS, KWANZAA FLOWERS, KWANZAA GIFTS, KWANZAA MERCHANDISE, AND KWANZAA T-SHIRTS.
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According to Wikipedia, the name Kwanzaa derives from the Swahili phrase "matunda ya kwanza", meaning "first fruits". An African-American scholar and social activist, Karenga created Kwanzaa in 1966. Karenga said his goal was to "...give a Black alternative to the existing holiday and give Blacks an opportunity to celebrate themselves and history, rather than simply imitate the practice of the dominant society." Kwanzaa is a festivity that has its roots in the black nationalist movement of the 1960s, and was established as a means to help African Americans reconnect with their African cultural and historical heritage by uniting in meditation and study of "African traditions" and "common humanist principles."
Families celebrating Kwanzaa decorate their households with objects of art, colorful African cloth, and fresh fruits that represent African idealism. It is customary to include children in Kwanzaa ceremonies and to give respect and gratitude to ancestors. Libations are shared, generally with a common chalice, "Kikombe cha Umoja" passed around to all celebrants. A Kwanzaa ceremony may include drumming and musical selections, libations, a reading of the "African Pledge" and the Principles of Blackness, reflection on the Pan-African colors, a discussion of the African principle of the day or a chapter in African history, a candle-lighting ritual, artistic performance, and, finally, a feast. The greeting for each day of Kwanzaa is "Habari Gani", Swahili words for "What's the News?"
At first, observers of Kwanzaa eschewed the mixing of the holiday or its symbols, values and practice with other holidays. They felt that doing so would violate the principle of self-determination and thus violate the integrity of the holiday, which is partially intended as a reclamation of important African values. Today, many African-American families celebrate Kwanzaa along with Christmas and New Year's Day. Frequently, both Christmas trees and the traditional candle holders symbolic of African-American roots, share space in kwanzaa celebrating households. To them, Kwanzaa is an opportunity to incorporate elements of their particular ethnic heritage into holiday observances and celebrations of Christmas.