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Holidays

  1. History of Kwanzaa
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    • Why is Kwanzaa known as the "baby" of all the holidays?
      1. It has a relatively short history
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    • Who introduced Kwanzaa?
      1. Dr. Maulana Karenga in 1966
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    • What is Kwanzaa?
      1. A 7 day social holiday created to celebrate Black identity, encourage unity, and preserve African culture
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    • Where does the name for the holiday originate?
      1. A Swahili phrase that roughly translates to "first fruits"
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    • Why is there a second A at the end of the name?
      1. Because 7 children had volunteered to carry out the letters in the name at the inaugural celebration; rather than leave one child out, they decided to add an extra letter at the end for the 7th child to carry.
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    • Was intended to be a social holiday rather than a religious one
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    • When is Kwanzaa observed?
      1. December 26 - January 1st (the week between Christmas and New Years)
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    • Celebrated by millions worldwide
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    • Unity is a strong theme of the holiday
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    • Passing of the unity cup
      1. People sip from it and pour it in memory of their ancestors
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    • What is the Kinara?
      1. A candelabra that represents the original stalk from which all Africans originate. It holds 7 candles, each representing 1 of the principles of Kwanzaa
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    • What is umoja?
      1. Swahili for "unity" - it is represented by the center black candle
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    • What do the 3 red candles represent?
      1. Self determination, cooperative economics, and creativity
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    • What do the 3 green candles represent?
      1. Collective work, purpose, and faith
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    • Dr. Karenga hopes that Kwanzaa becomes not just about Africans, but a holiday for all to celebrate. Just as St. Patrick's Day and Cinco de Mayo are celebrated/appreciated by all, not just Irish or Mexican people, Kwanzaa can reach everybody from all
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