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7 Things Everyone Should Know About Kwanzaa

Playing Drums During Kwanzaa | Goodwill Car Donations
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7 Things Everyone Should Know about Kwanzaa

Right after Christmas, the African-American community in the United States has another festive event to celebrate. It’s Kwanzaa, a festival that celebrates African culture in the country. The festivities last for seven days, starting from December 26 to January 1. African-Americans celebrate the holiday with their families and community members.

Although every family has its own way of spending the week-long holiday, the celebration usually includes storytelling, ceremonial dancing, poetry reading, singing, and of course, a large sumptuous buffet for everyone to enjoy.

In most households, people commemorate the occasion by placing on a table the seven symbols that represent the Nguzo Saba, or the seven principles representing the seven values of African culture. Family members would recite prayers, drink together as a sign of unity and remembrance in a ritual called libation, and light a candle. Everybody would then get to share their insights on the Kwanzaa principles, explaining why these principles are important to them. They would create a vision board, listing down and posting images of what they’d like to happen for the coming year.

 

7 Things to Know about Kwanzaa

While you may already have some knowledge about this cultural holiday, some things about the celebration of Kwanzaa might still surprise you. Goodwill Car Donations has rounded up some of the most intriguing things about this festival. Get ready to have your brain stocked with a bunch of interesting information about the week-long holiday. In honor of the seven principles that forever changed the history of African culture, here are 7 things everyone should know about Kwanzaa:

  1. The term ‘Kwanzaa’ comes from a Swahili phrase.

Since Swahili is the most commonly used language in Africa, people agreed to borrow their phrase “matunda ya kwanza,” which translates to “first fruits.” Those who observe the tradition believe that Kwanzaa will bring growth and prosperity among African communities.

  1. Know the 7 African principles.

Almost everyone with an African background is familiar with the Nguzo Saba. These are the principles known to have played a crucial role in helping people of African descent appreciate their cultural beliefs and traditions. These are umoja (unity), kujichagulia (self-determination), ujima (collective work and responsibility); ujamaa (cooperative economics), nia (purpose), kuumba (creativity), and imani (faith).

  1. Candles are placed in a Kinara.

While Hanukkah has the Menorah, Kwanzaa has the Kinara – and it’s more than just a special candle holder. The Kinara symbolizes the roots of the African-American community. By that, we mean the African men and women who fought for racial equality way back during the time of the civil rights movement from the late1940s to the late 1960s.

  1. Each candle in the Kinara represents each of the Nguzo Saba.

A black candle, which signifies the principle of unity, is always placed at the center of the Kinara. This is because unity is the core of the principles, meaning that without it, the other principles wouldn’t be achieved. On the left of the Kinara are three red candles that represent self-determination, cooperative economics, and creativity. On the right are three green candles symbolizing collective work and responsibility, purpose, and faith.

  1. The colors of the candles also hold different meanings

While the colors red and green are normally associated with Christmas, these colors hold different meanings during Kwanzaa. Green represents the rich land of Africa while red is the symbol of the blood that unites all individuals of African background. As for the color black, this symbolizes the African community.

  1. People exchange handmade gifts.

Although giving gifts is not a common practice during the celebration of Kwanzaa, there are families that celebrate the event by giving presents to their loved ones. The gifts are usually handmade items and related to the seven African principles.

  1. Kwanzaa was supposed to be spelled Kwanza.

So why is there an extra “a” at the end of the word? The reason may leave you chuckling. During the holiday’s inaugural ceremony, seven kids volunteered to carry the six letters of Kwanza. In order not to leave any child out, the organizers decided to add the extra letter to the seventh child. Thus, the festival came to be known as Kwanzaa.

 

Take Part in a Meaningful Cause Today

We at Goodwill Car Donations are inviting you to take part in our mission to provide life-transforming assistance to our fellow Americans who are burdened with disabilities, lack of education, and other personal barriers to employment and a decent life. All you need to do is to donate to us any vehicle that you no longer need – whether it’s an old sedan or a perfectly running truck or whatever type of vehicle.

We’ll sell your vehicle through auction and use the proceeds to support the critical mission-focused programs of the Goodwill organizations nearest your location. These nonprofits provide their beneficiaries in your community with essential services such as skills and job training, career development and placement, scholarships, youth employment, livelihood, disability benefits support, and other community-building support services.

Getting in touch with us is the only task you’ll be doing. Once you’ve provided us the basic details about the vehicle you’re donating, as well as your preferred schedule for the FREE pickup of your vehicle, our team will take over to complete the donation process.

Since your donation will be used by IRS-certified 501(c)3 nonprofit organizations, you will be entitled to a tax deduction based on the selling price or fair market value of your vehicle. Expect a tax-deductible sales receipt in your mailbox within 30 days following the sale of your donation.

Eager to learn more about our donation process? Curious about tax deductions? Check out our FAQs page. You may also call us at 866-233-8586 or send us a message online.

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In the spirit of Kwanzaa, are you ready to donate your clunker and turn it into a life-transforming tool? Call Goodwill Car Donations at 866-233-8586 or fill out our online donation form here now! We can’t wait to change lives with you.