1. It was created by Dr Maulana Karenga and was first celebrated in 1966. Karenga created Kwanzaa as the first African holiday. Karenga said his goal was to “give Blacks an alternative to the existing holiday and give Blacks an opportunity to celebrate themselves and history, rather than simply imitate the practice of the dominant society.”
2. Kwanzaa is a week long celebration honouring African heritage and culture, observed from December 26 to January 1 each year. It features activities such as lighting a candle holder with seven candles and culminates in a feast and gift giving.
3. The name Kwanzaa is a Kiswahili word for “the first fruits of the harvest”. Kiswahili was chosen because it is a non-tribal African language which encompasses a large portion of the African continent.
4. Kwanzaa was created to introduce and reinforce seven basic values of African culture which contribute to building and reinforcing family, community and culture among Africans of the Diaspora.
5. The seven basic values are called the Nguzo Saba which in Swahili means the Seven Principles.