Between December 26th and January 1st, some African-American families celebrate Kwanzaa. This holiday brings the community closer to their African roots, through traditions established in the 1960s. Kwanzaa is a unique holiday that is based on hard work and uplifting one’s tribe.
There are seven days of celebration in Kwanzaa, and one principle is celebrated each day. The principles are unity, self-determination, collective work and responsibility, cooperative economics, purpose, creativity and faith. With each principle, the family lights one candle on a seven-candle holder, similar to Jewish tradition.
Kwanzaa also has seven symbols, which are used to decorate the home: crops (such as fruits and vegetables), a place mat, an ear of corn, the seven candles, the candleholder, the unity cup and gifts. Within these symbols, families have a wide range of options for home décor. In celebration of the African tradition, you may want to decorate in blacks, reds and greens. You can find interesting tapestries that can become family heirlooms, keeping them safe all year until you bring them out for each Kwanzaa celebration. Collage posters from Shutterfly can also make for great Kwanzaa décor. Customize these posters to celebrate the unity of your family. You can keep the posters hung up all year as a daily reminder of your commitment to one another.
Since crops are part of Kwanzaa, using fruits, vegetables and nuts as simple or intricate centerpieces can really add to the occasion. These centerpieces can serve a dual purpose: enjoy their beauty, and enjoy the bounty with your family throughout the seven days. Gifts given during Kwanzaa are traditionally homemade or are used to represent a promise. Some families have each member create an intricate gift that must be made throughout the year. Family members generally personalize their gifts for each recipient.
Kwanzaa is a positive and community-based celebration that brings together families, friends and even strangers. Kwanzaa decorations can bring this celebration to life.