Kwanzaa: History, Facts & Insights

This is an in-depth look at all the must-know facts about Kwanzaa (2024) 🗓️ that no one tells you about. Kwanzaa is observed on December 26th.

Among the information you’ll find below: the history of Kwanzaa, activities to do on and how to observe this holiday, as well as important facts you should know about Kwanzaa.

📅 What day is Kwanzaa 2024?

In 2024, Kwanzaa is on Tuesday, December 26th. It is the 4th Tuesday in December; in 2024, it is Thursday. There are until the next observance. You also can discover all the exciting details and facts about December 26, 2023, that you might not be aware of.

Kwanzaa is in:

📜 Kwanzaa History

Kwanzaa is a holiday that originated from the Swahili term “matunda ya kwanza,” meaning “first fruits.” Swahili is a widely spoken language in Africa and is seen as a language that represents unity among African and black cultures. First-fruits celebrations have been a part of African history for a long time, seen in ancient Egypt and Nubia, as well as in other African civilizations like Ashantiland and Yorubaland. Kwanzaa is a celebration of African American heritage and is celebrated by millions of Africans and African Americans across the country. Each family has their own unique way of celebrating Kwanzaa, but festivities often include singing, dancing, African drumming, storytelling, poetry readings, and a large traditional dinner. During the seven nights of Kwanzaa, families gather and a young person lights one of the candles on the kinara. This is followed by a discussion of one of the seven principles, known as Nguzo Saba, which are ideas from African culture that help African Americans build and maintain strong communities.

Kwanzaa Facts

🔖 It has grown in popularity
Kwanzaa is a week-long celebration that has gained popularity within the African American community since it was first introduced in 1966. While countries like Canada, Jamaica, and Brazil have shown interest in Kwanzaa, it is not celebrated to the same extent as it is in the United States.

🔖 $77 spent on gifts
The average spending on Kwanzaa gifts per person is approximately $77 because they are mainly given to children and typically include a book and a cultural symbol.

🔖 4% of Americans celebrate it
Based on a survey conducted by Public Policy Polling, it was found that around 4% of Americans indicated that they either celebrate or primarily celebrate Kwanzaa during the holiday season. This percentage is slightly lower than the 5% who celebrate Chanukah but significantly less than the overwhelming majority of 90% who celebrate Christmas. However, when considering the population size, this 4% represents a considerable number of individuals, which amounts to more than 12.5 million people.

👍 Why Is Kwanzaa Important

Kwanzaa arose in response to the Watts riots, which were in response to long-standing racial injustice in America. Dr. Maulana Karenga created the festival to bring African Americans together as a community in a celebration of identity.

Kwanzaa is a cultural holiday rather than a religious celebration, which means that you can still celebrate the winter holidays associated with your religion if you participate in Kwanzaa festivities. Many houses will have both a kinara and a Christmas tree in their living room.

Kwanzaa brings many people in the African American community and other nations of the African diaspora in the Americas closer to their roots. Participants can experience a grounding connection to Africa by celebrating a holiday based on ancient African tradition.

🙂 How To Observe Kwanzaa

Pick up a drum
A lot of families celebrate Kwanzaa by enjoying music and singing songs that are either traditional African or African-American. You can participate in the musical festivities by picking up a drum or any other percussion instrument that is being used for the occasion.

Get in the spirit with African decor
To truly embrace the spirit of Kwanzaa during Christmas, it is essential to adorn your home with African-inspired decorations. Incorporate elements of African art, such as vibrant fabrics like kente, and include fresh fruits that symbolize African ideals. Only then will your Christmas feel complete.

Learn some Swahili
Since Swahili is a widely spoken language in Africa, it serves as a common bond for all Kwanzaa celebrants. The seven principles of Kwanzaa, which are crucial to understand, have meaningful Swahili names: Umoja stands for “unity,” Kujichagulia represents “self-determination,” Ujima embodies “collective work and responsibility,” Ujamaa signifies “cooperative economy,” Nia conveys “purpose,” Kuumba expresses “creativity,” and Imani symbolizes “faith.”

📅 When is Kwanzaa?

YEAR DATE DAY
2023 December 26 Tuesday
2024 December 26 Thursday
2025 December 26 Friday
2026 December 26 Saturday
2027 December 26 Sunday

View all 🔗 December holidays, including 🔗 Special Interest and other 🔗 American holidays.

We will continue to update this page with new information and cool facts about Kwanzaa. So be sure to check back soon.

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