Kwanzaa – Umoja

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When:
December 26, 2017 all-day
2017-12-26T00:00:00-06:00
2017-12-27T00:00:00-06:00

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.