Kwanzaa is a week-long celebration held mostly in the United States honoring universal African heritage and culture.  It is observed from December 26 to January 1 each year.  The principles of Kwanzaa should be shared and circulated throughout all cultures, as these philosophies promote peace, community-building and self-growth. Kwanzaa consists of seven days of celebration, featuring activities such as candle-lighting and libations, and culminating in a feast and gift giving. Each day, one of the seven philosophies is contemplated.  It was created by Ron Karenga and was first celebrated from December 26, 1966 to January 1, 1967. (from wikipedia)

The Seven Principles of Kwanzaa are:

*  Umoja (oo-MOH-jah): Unity

Success starts with Unity. Unity of family, community, nation and race.

*  Kujichagulia (koo-jee-chah-goo-LEE-ah): Self-Determination

To be responsible for ourselves. To create your own destiny.

* Ujima (oo-JEE-mah): Collective work and responsibility

To build and maintain your community together. To work together to help one another within your community.

*  Ujamaa (oo-jah-MAH): Collective economics

To build, maintain, and support our own stores, establishments, and businesses.

*  Nia (NEE-ah): Purpose

To restore African American people to their traditional greatness. To be responsible to Those Who Came Before (our ancestors) and to Those Who Will Follow (our descendants).

* Kuumba (koo-OOM-bah): Creativity

Using creativity and imagination to make your communities better than what you inherited.

* Imani (ee-MAH-nee): Faith
Believing in our people, our families, our educators, our leaders, and the righteousness of the African American struggle.

We encourage you to light some candles, continue to dine on traditional family meals, and embrace other cultures.  There is always so much to learn and teach your kids.

Jill Amery

Jill Amery is a mom of 2 small boys and the Publisher of UrbanMommies, a stylish digital lifestyle magazine filled with fitness, style, health, recipes and savvy mom advice to help you through pregnancy, birth, and raising your kids.

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