Kwanzaa is a week-long celebration held in the United States honoring universal African-American 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. It was created by Maulana Karenga and was first celebrated in 1966–67.
Maulana Karenga of the US Organization created Kwanzaa in 1966 as the first specifically African American 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." The name Kwanzaa derives from the Swahili phrase matunda ya kwanza, meaning first fruits of the harvest. The choice of Swahili, an East African language, reflects its status as a symbol of Pan-Africanism, especially in the 1960s.
(... from Wikipedia on 2012-04-17 05:11:08)