The seven days long festivity of Kwanza is related to the joyous and exciting celebrations of African American cultures and values. The prime African American carnival is a significant and charming occasion for to its vibrant celebrations and mass gatherings. 26th December marks the onset of the fiesta with a huge celebration and it continues till 1st January when Kwanzaa ends with the greeting "Harambee!”. Karamu or the feast which is an integral and essential part of Kwanzaa is celebrated on 31st December with interesting and striking African American rituals.
The relatively small festival, Kwanzaa, started from 1960s but nowadays more than 18 million Americans participate in the mind blowing Kwanzaa celebrations. The culturally significant and momentous carnival of Kwanzaa is based on seven notable principles and ideologies namely Unity, Self Determination, Collective work and Responsibility, Cooperative economics, Purpose, Creativity and Faith. To celebrate and focus on each of these doctrines seven candles are lighted during the seven evenings of Kwanzaa. Each lighted candle on each day elaborates and exemplifies one of seven above mentioned Kwanzaa principles. These candles have the traditional Kwanzaa colors like Black, red and green. Three red and three green candles are placed at the left hand side and right hand side of the black one respectively. All of these candles of course are placed on a candleholder which is popularly known as Kinara according to the African American conventions. This is a unique and remarkable part of the Kwanzaa celebrations.
The impressive celebration continues with offering gifts and greetings. Children of a finicky family relish these days with books and traditional symbols which they get as gifts from the grown up members of their family. The sole purpose of giving books to the children is to help them learn the traditional customs and histories of African Americans. Homes are well decorated with traditional African American articles and pieces like African baskets, cloth patterns, harvest symbols and art objects.
Kwanzaa celebrations end on 1st January every year and every African American waits for another year to come.
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