Kwanzaa (first day) in Canada ― Date, History, and Details

Kwanzaa (first day) in Canada

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Let's dive deeper into learning more about the history of Kwanzaa (first day) in Canada and why people celebrate or observe it.

History of Kwanzaa (first day) in Canada and How to Celebrate/ Observe It

Kwanzaa is a seven-day African-American and Pan-African holiday that celebrates family, community, and culture. The holiday is observed from December 26 to January 1, and its name comes from the Swahili phrase “matunda ya kwanza,” which means “first fruits.” Kwanzaa was created in 1966 by Maulana Karenga, a professor of Africana Studies at California State University, Long Beach.

Kwanzaa has seven core principles, or Nguzo Saba, which are meant to guide African-Americans and Pan-Africans in their daily lives. These principles are: unity (Umoja), self-determination (Kujichagulia), collective work and responsibility (Ujima), cooperative economics (Ujamaa), purpose (Nia), creativity (Kuumba), and faith (Imani). Each day of Kwanzaa is dedicated to one of these principles.

On the first day of Kwanzaa, families gather together and celebrate Umoja, or unity. This principle emphasizes the importance of coming together as a community and supporting one another. Families might spend time talking about their ancestors and discussing the ways in which they have overcome adversity. They might also share traditional African foods and music.