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International Resourcing Santa - Kwanzaa - Africa

Kwanzaa is a celebration created in 1966 to help strengthen and bond African-Americans through studying the unique human struggle that is at the heart of African-American culture. The celebration is patterned after traditional African harvest festivals. Families and communities are drawn together to examine their achievements and set goals for the future. There are seven main symbols associated with Kwanzaa: 1). Mkeka - The straw mat represents the foundations of life. 2). Kinara - The candle holder represents the original stalk, the beginnings of African ancestry and genealogy. 3). Muhindi - Ears of corn - One for every child, rep- resents the challenges and hopes of the offspring. 4). Mazao - Crops(fruits,nuts,vegetables) - represents the products of collective effort. 5). Zawadi - Gifts - Given to children on the first day of the New Year to encourage growth, learning, and de- velopment. 6). Kikombe cha umojo - The unity cup used exclusively for pouring libations to the ancestors. 7). Mishumaa saba - The seven candles(three red, one black,three green) represent seven principles(Nguzo saba): *Umoja - unity *Kujiichha gulia - self determination *Ujima - collective work and responsibility *Ujamaa - cooperative economics *Nia - purpose *Kuumba - creativity *Imani - faith A Kwanzaa celebration consists of rituals, food, cele- bration, and farewell statements. Decorations for the assembly should include corn, fruits, gourds, or other symbols of harvest. Red, green, and black are used to represent fire and determination, earth and hope, and the power of the people, respectively. Kwanzaa is observed over the seven-day period from December 26 through January 1st.


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