With Christmas just around the corner, it’s easy to get tunnel-vision on your particular holiday. Most of us celebrate Christmas or Hanukkah, but there is a third holiday that is celebrated during the same time of the year, which is Kwanzaa. First fact you probably didn’t know about Kwanzaa and now do: how to spell it. That one’s free. Even if you didn’t read the article you’re bestowed with knowledge you previously didn’t have. Thanks, Jim! You're welcome.
Kwanzaa is a holiday that most people are aware of but have no idea what it’s about. White people in particular are pretty far removed from the holiday and can be found scouring Wikipedia any time the subject comes up. It’s understandable, as the two major holidays of December get all of the attention, while Kwanzaa is put by the wayside. Kwanzaa doesn’t get that much play nationally, and this is actually intentional. Kwanzaa was created to be a sort of anti-Chrstmas (I’ll get more into that below). Christmas traditions, that have been encouraged by corporations, are the exact opposite of what people do for Kwanzaa.
So here you are: your one-stop shop for facts about a holiday you probably know nothing about. If you ever meet someone who celebrates Kwanzaa, you’ll be able to discuss the origins of the holiday with knowledge, instead of frantically Googling to find out if they’re part of some special religion you’ve never heard of.
15 It’s So Young, Turning 50 This Year
14 Its Origins Are American, Not African
13 The Founder Was A Political Radical
12 Kwanzaa is Nonreligious
11 There Are Seven Principals
10 It's After Christmas So Gifts Are Easier
9 The Three Colors of Kwanzaa
8 A Kwanzaa Greeting Means: "What's the News?"
7 Happy Kwanzaa From POTUS
6 Big Business Wants A Piece
5 Most Black Americans Don’t Celebrate Kwanzaa
4 Founder Accused Of Murder, Torture, R*pe
3 You Can Celebrate Both
2 Other Holidays Feel Slighted
1 You Don't Have To Be Black
Much like all other holidays, you don't have to be a Black American to celebrate Kwanzaa. Any race can join in the celebration and are welcome to join the festivities. The official Kwanzaa website even welcomes those of all races to join the Kwanzaa party, just as non-Mexicans celebrate Cinco De Mayo, or non-Irish drink on St. Pats. Of course, many of the traditions and rituals are intended for Black Americans, but this doesn't mean that other races can't join the fun. It is important, however, to keep the spirit and the intentions of Kwanzaa in mind while celebrating. The principals of Kwanzaa should not be perverted by our own seasonal holidays, and instead should be treated with respect. With that being said, who doesn't love dancing and introspective conversations. Things like these are something that everyone can enjoy together.
Sources: Time, OfficialKwanzaaWebsite, History, Reason, TheRoot
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