Dakota Datebook

First Day of Kwanzaa

Sunday, December 26, 2004

Today is the first day of Kwanzaa, which is observed from December 26th through January 1st. Dr. Maulana Ron Karenga developed this unique African-American celebration in 1966 following the Los Angeles Watts riots.

Kwanzaa is meant to gather and celebrate African peoples of all nations. It isn’t tied to any religion but is nevertheless observed as a spiritual holiday. The term Kwanzaa is from the Swahili phrase “matunda ya kwanza,” which means first fruits, tying the holiday to harvest celebrations of many various African cultures. Each day of Kwanzaa focuses on Nguzo Saba – seven principles that celebrate the oneness and goodness of life: unity; self-determination; collective work and responsibility; cooperative economics; purpose; creativity; and faith.

Dakota Datebook written by Merry Helm

This text and audio may not be copied without securing prior permission from Prairie Public.

Dakota Datebook is a project of Prairie Public, in partnership with the State Historical Society of North Dakota, with funding from the North Dakota Humanities Council.

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