Celebrated annually from Dec. 26 to Jan. 1, Kwanzaa consists of seven days of celebration, including candlelighting, libations and culminating festivities including a feast and gift giving. While the …
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Celebrated annually from Dec. 26 to Jan. 1, Kwanzaa consists of seven days of celebration, including candlelighting, libations and culminating festivities including a feast and gift giving. While the celebration traces its U.S. roots back only as far as the mid-1960s, similar first fruits celebrations took place in a variety of locations throughout the ancient Middle and Far East.
In addition to the celebratory, light-hearted festivities, the holiday honors the Seven Principles of Kwanzaa, – “the best of African thought and practice” – as first enumerated by the holiday’s U.S. founder, Maulana Karenga. Each of the seven days of Kwanzaa is dedicated to one of the following defining principles:
•Umoja (Unity) – To strive for and to maintain unity in the family, community, nation and race.
•Kujichagulia (Self-Determination) – To define ourselves, name ourselves, create for ourselves and speak for ourselves.
•Ujima (Collective Work and Respons-ibility) – To build and maintain our community together and make our brothers’ and sisters’ problems our problems and to solve them together.
•Ujamaa (Cooperative Economics) – To build and maintain our own stores, shops and other businesses and to profit from them together.
•Nia (Purpose) – To make our collective vocation the building and developing of our community in order to restore our people to their traditional greatness.
•Kuumba (Creativity) – To do always as much as we can, in the way we can, in order to leave our community more beautiful and beneficial than we inherited it.
•Imani (Faith) – To believe with all our heart in our people, our parents, our teachers, our leaders and the righteousness and victory of our struggle.
The Denver Public Library plans a series of events focusing on several of the principles of Kwanzaa.
•Fri., Dec. 26, 1p.m., at Blair-Caldwell Library (2401 Welton St.), the topic is Umoja (Unity). Call 720-865-2401.
•Sat., Dec. 27, 1p.m., at Montbello Branch (12955 Allbrook Dr.), Kukichagulia (Self-Determination) is the topic. Call 720-865-0200.
•Mon., Dec. 29, 2p.m. at Pauline Robinson Branch (5575 E. 33rd Ave.), Ujamaa (Cooperative Economics). Call 303-370-1530.
•Tues., Dec. 30, 5p.m.,Nia (Purpose) will be discussed at Ford-Warren Branch (2825 High St.). Call 720-865-0920.
For further information on the Denver Public Library Kwanzaa events, call each individual branch library.
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