Posted December 23rd, 2023

The holiday highlights seven principles: Umoja (unity), Kujichagulia (self-determination), Ujima (responsibility), Ujamaa (cooperation), Nia (purpose), Kuumba (creativity) and Imani (faith), with a focus on one principle each day.

The holiday is cultural, not religious, and can be celebrated along with other major religious and secular holidays. Kwanzaa is celebrated by roughly 12.5 million Americans and 30 million people worldwide.

What is Kwanzaa and why is it celebrated?

Kwanzaa is an African American and Pan-African holiday that celebrates shared history, values, family, community and culture.

The holiday was created in an effort to restore and reaffirm African heritage and culture in the United States and to introduce and reinforce Nguzo Saba or the Seven Principles.

The ideas and concepts of Kwanzaa are shared in the Swahili language, which is one of the most widely spoken languages in Africa, according to the National Museum of African American History & Culture.