Everything You Need To Know About Kwanzaa In Buffalo
The annual celebration of African-American and Pan-African culture and history is upon us again in 2022 and if you are interested in finding out what's happening in Buffalo and Western New York, we have all of the details for you below.
Kwanzaa is a non-religious, cultural celebration for black or African-American culture that is celebrated by millions around the world from December 26 to January 1. Created by Maulana Karenga in 1966, the Kwanzaa holiday was designed to be celebrated in addition to any religious practices that people have and are based upon some festival traditions that come from various parts of Western and Southeastern Africa.
The word Kwanzaa was derived from the Swahili language phrase matunda ya kwanza, which itself means first fruits. Many cultures in Southern Africa celebrate a first fruits festival in December/January each year which coincides with the southern hemisphere's winter solstice. This helped to inspire Karenga to form this celebration.
The roots of Kwanzaa, then, are in ancient and ongoing continental African first-fruits or first-harvest celebrations. They give Kwanzaa its model and shared values and practices, and its historical groundedness. Rooted in this ancient history and culture, Kwanzaa develops as a flourishing branch of the African cultural tree. It emerges in the context of African American life and struggle as a recreated and expanded ancient tradition. Thus, it bears special characteristics and meaning for African American people. But it is not only an African American holiday but also a Pan-African one. For it draws from the cultures of various African peoples, and is celebrated by millions of Africans throughout the world African community. Moreover, these various African peoples celebrate Kwanzaa because it speaks not only to African Americans in a special way, but also to Africans as a whole, in its stress on history, values, family, community and culture.
-Official Kwanzaa Website
The Buffalo Kwanzaa committee has a slew of activities scheduled to take place during the holiday, which occurs over 7 days and begins on December 26th every year, the celebration seeks to highlight seven separate principles that are honored each day. Those principles, Umoja (Unity), Kujichagulia (Self-Determination), Ujima (Collective Work and Responsibility), Ujamaa (Cooperative Economics), Nia (Purpose), Kuumba (Creativity), and Imani (Faith) which aim to speaks to the best of what it means to be African and human in the fullest sense.
You can find a full schedule of this year's festivities below.