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GrannyDancer's Holiday Home

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December 26th is the first day of Kwanzaa, a seven-day
celebration observed by many African Americans. Many
of its symbols come from the harvest festivals. Kwanzaa
was first observed in 1966 and focuses on African
heritage and pride.

Each night, families light one of the red, green, and black
candles in the kinara,, or candleholder, which symbolize
seven ideals to live by. Other items are placed on a woven
mat, including a bowl of vegetables, fruit, and nuts, and
the kikombe, or unity cup.

Families drink from the kikombe each night, sharing
a special drink and family memories. Members of the
family who have been an inspiration to the others are
given special recognition.  Family bonds are unique,
and it's nice to be reminded of this once in awhile.

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The Seven Principles
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Principle #1 - Umoja

Umoja stands for Unity. Umoja means helping each other stay
together as families, communities, a nation, and a race.

Principle #2 - Kujichagulia

Kujichagulia stands for Self-Determination. This is the right to
decide who we are, what our names will be, what we will become,
and what we will create for ourselves. We will not let others do
these things for us.

Principle #3 - Ujima

Ujima means Collective Work and Responsibility. This means we
should build and take care of our communities. We should work
together to solve our problems.

Principle #4 - Ujamaa

Ujamaa means Cooperative Economics. This means that we should
build and maitain our own stores, shops, and businesses. We should
profit from them together.

Principle #5 - Nia

Nia stands for Purpose. Our purpose should be to make our people and
communities as great as they can be. We can do this by taking care of
our homes and communities and developing the skills and
knowledge of all our people.

Principle #6 - Kuumba

Kuumba means Creativity. As African American people we should do
as much as we can, in our unique way, to make our homes and
communities more successful and beautiful.

Principle #7 - Imani

Imani stands for Faith. We strive to believe with all ourhearts in the
worth of African Americans. We believe in the struggle and victory of our people.

From the book Kwanzaa written by Sharon Gayle

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