What Are the Seven Principles of Kwanzaa?


Quick Answer

The seven principles of Kwanzaa are Unity, Self-Determination, Collective Work and Responsibility, Cooperative Economics, Purpose, Creativity and Faith. Maulana Karenga created Kwanzaa in 1966. It is a week-long celebration honoring African heritage. African Americans of all faiths celebrate Kwanzaa, which takes place every year from December 26 through January 1. Each evening of Kwanzaa, families gather for a candle-lighting ceremony, where they light one candle on a kinara (Kwanzaa candleholder) and discuss the principle of the day.

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Full Answer

Families celebrate one of the principles of Kwanzaa on each of the seven days of the holiday. The first principle, Unity, involves families aiming for harmonious connections within their communities, nations and race. On the second day of Kwanzaa, Self-Determination is the topic of discussion. Celebrants discuss speaking for themselves and making good choices. Collective Work and Responsibility, the third principle, is about helping others within the community.

The fourth principle of Kwanzaa, Cooperative Economics, is about supporting local businesses. Purpose, the fifth principle, is about setting goals. Creativity is the sixth principle and urges celebrants to do all they can to improve their communities. The seventh and final principal, Faith, is about believing that a better world is within reach. Typically, families hold Karamu, an African feast, on December 31.

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