Calendar

Nov
22
Thu
Thanksgiving
Nov 22 – Nov 23 all-day

Significance of Thanksgiving 2018

Thanksgiving 2018 (also known as Thanksgiving Day) is an important federal holiday, celebrated annually on the fourth Thursday of November in the United States. Thanksgiving 2018 precedes “Black Friday” and is traditionally a holiday to give thanks for the food collected at the end of the harvest season.

History of Thanksgiving

In September 1620, a small ship called the Mayflower left Plymouth, England, carrying 102 passengers embarked on a journey to discover the New World. After a treacherous journey lasting 66 days, they arrived near the tip of Cape Cod, far north of their intended destination at the mouth of the Hudson River. One month later, the Mayflower crossed Massachusetts Bay, where the Pilgrims, as they are now commonly known, began the work of establishing a village at Plymouth. Throughout that first brutal winter, most of the colonists remained on board the ship, where they suffered from exposure, scurvy and outbreaks of contagious disease. Only half of the Mayflower’s original passengers lived to see their first New England spring. In March, the remaining settlers moved ashore and began to harvest with help and alliance with Native Americans of the area. This alliance tragically remains one of the sole examples of harmony between European colonists and Native Americans.

In November 1621, after the Pilgrims’ first corn harvest proved successful, Governor William Bradford organized a three-day celebratory feast, now remembered as American’s “First Thanksgiving”- although, it is argued that the Pilgrims themselves may not have used the term “Thanksgiving” at the time. Historians also argue that the Pilgrims had their first true thanksgiving in 1623, when they gave thanks for rain that ended a drought. In the second half of the 1600s, thanksgivings after the harvest became more common and started to become annual events. George Washington, the first president of the United States, proclaimed the first national Thanksgiving Day in 1789 and it officially became an annual holiday in 1863.

Dec
26
Wed
Kwanzaa – Umoja
Dec 26 all-day

On the first day of Kwanzaa the black candle is lit in the Kinara. The black candle represents the first principle – Umoja (oo-MOH-jah): Unity. The person who lights the candle might make a statement about the first principle and its meaning. Sometimes a passage or poem is read relating to what the principle means and how it relates to their life.

Then the Umoja (Unity Cup) might be filled with fruit juice and shared among those gathered. Each takes a drink and passes to the next.

Some families prefer to use a Unity cup for each member, or the cup can just be left in the center of the Kwanzaa table.

After the sharing of the Unity cup the candles are extinguished till the next day.

The Seven Principles (Nguzo Saba) of Kwanzaa are:

  • Umoja (oo-MOH-jah): Unity

    Success starts with Unity. Unity of family, community, nation and race.

  • Kujichagulia (koo-jee-chah-goo-LEE-ah): Self-Determination

    To be responsible for ourselves. To create your own destiny.

  • Ujima (oo-JEE-mah): Collective work and responsibility

    To build and maintain your community together. To work together to help one another within your community.

  • Ujamaa (oo-jah-MAH): Collective economics

    To build, maintain, and support our own stores, establishments, and businesses.

  • Nia (NEE-ah): Purpose

    To restore African American people to their traditional greatness. To be responsible to Those Who Came Before (our ancestors) and to Those Who Will Follow (our descendants).

  • Kuumba (koo-OOM-bah): Creativity

    Using creativity and imagination to make your communities better than what you inherited.

  • Imani (ee-MAH-nee): Faith

Believing in our people, our families, our educators, our leaders, and the righteousness of the African American struggle.

Dec
27
Thu
Kwanzaa – Kujichagulia
Dec 27 all-day

On the second day the black candle is again lit, as well as the farthest red candle on the left. This represents the 2nd principle of Kwanzaa –Kujichagulia (koo-jee-chah-goo-LEE-ah): Self-Determination.

Again a statement about the second principle and its meaning might be made. Or possibly a passage or poem is spoken or read which relates to what the principle means and how it relates to their life. The family shares the Unity cup and the candles are extinguished.

The Seven Principles (Nguzo Saba) of Kwanzaa are:

  • Umoja (oo-MOH-jah): Unity

Success starts with Unity. Unity of family, community, nation and race.

  • Kujichagulia (koo-jee-chah-goo-LEE-ah): Self-Determination

To be responsible for ourselves. To create your own destiny.

  • Ujima (oo-JEE-mah): Collective work and responsibility

To build and maintain your community together. To work together to help one another within your community.

  • Ujamaa (oo-jah-MAH): Collective economics

To build, maintain, and support our own stores, establishments, and businesses.

  • Nia (NEE-ah): Purpose

To restore African American people to their traditional greatness. To be responsible to Those Who Came Before (our ancestors) and to Those Who Will Follow (our descendants).

  • Kuumba (koo-OOM-bah): Creativity

Using creativity and imagination to make your communities better than what you inherited.

  • Imani (ee-MAH-nee): Faith

Believing in our people, our families, our educators, our leaders, and the righteousness of the African American struggle.

 

Dec
28
Fri
Kwanzaa – Ujima
Dec 28 all-day

On the third day the black candle is lit, then the farthest left red, and then the farthest right green candle. This represents the 3rd principle of Kwanzaa – Ujima (oo-JEE-mah): Collective work and responsibility.

The third principle is discussed. The family shares the Unity cup and the candles are extinguished.

The Seven Principles (Nguzo Saba) of Kwanzaa are:

  • Umoja (oo-MOH-jah): Unity

Success starts with Unity. Unity of family, community, nation and race.

  • Kujichagulia (koo-jee-chah-goo-LEE-ah): Self-Determination

To be responsible for ourselves. To create your own destiny.

  • Ujima (oo-JEE-mah): Collective work and responsibility

To build and maintain your community together. To work together to help one another within your community.

  • Ujamaa (oo-jah-MAH): Collective economics

To build, maintain, and support our own stores, establishments, and businesses.

  • Nia (NEE-ah): Purpose

To restore African American people to their traditional greatness. To be responsible to Those Who Came Before (our ancestors) and to Those Who Will Follow (our descendants).

  • Kuumba (koo-OOM-bah): Creativity

Using creativity and imagination to make your communities better than what you inherited.

  • Imani (ee-MAH-nee): Faith

Believing in our people, our families, our educators, our leaders, and the righteousness of the African American struggle.

 

Dec
29
Sat
Kwanzaa – Ujamaa
Dec 29 all-day

On the fourth day the black candle is lit, then the farthest left red, the farthest right green. And then the next red candle on the left. This represents the 4th principle of Kwanzaa – Ujamaa (oo-jah-MAH):Collective economics.

The fourth principle is discussed. The family shares the Unity cup and the candles are extinguished.

The Seven Principles (Nguzo Saba) of Kwanzaa are:

  • Umoja (oo-MOH-jah): Unity

Success starts with Unity. Unity of family, community, nation and race.

  • Kujichagulia (koo-jee-chah-goo-LEE-ah): Self-Determination

To be responsible for ourselves. To create your own destiny.

  • Ujima (oo-JEE-mah): Collective work and responsibility

To build and maintain your community together. To work together to help one another within your community.

  • Ujamaa (oo-jah-MAH): Collective economics

To build, maintain, and support our own stores, establishments, and businesses.

  • Nia (NEE-ah): Purpose

To restore African American people to their traditional greatness. To be responsible to Those Who Came Before (our ancestors) and to Those Who Will Follow (our descendants).

  • Kuumba (koo-OOM-bah): Creativity

Using creativity and imagination to make your communities better than what you inherited.

  • Imani (ee-MAH-nee): Faith

Believing in our people, our families, our educators, our leaders, and the righteousness of the African American struggle.