Recreation is a tradition that seems to bind the whole society with a fabric. Holidays give people the opportunity to feel a sense of their identity, to experience brotherly love and just a good mood. Such events help to strengthen ties between people. A special time for celebration is New Year's time. In close proximity to each other, many nations celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, New Year and Kwanzaa. All these holidays find their response in the hearts of real revelers
For most people, these days are special and bright, but for some, such holidays carry something mysterious. This exotic holiday simply could not but generate some myths around itself.
Kwanzaa is a religious holiday. In fact, this event is a celebration of culture and universal values that go far beyond ordinary religious boundaries. There is reason to believe that earlier the holiday was based on some ancient spiritual rite. But today this event is not associated with any organized religion, or with the worship of a deity. According to the organizer of modern Kwanza, Dr. Kareng, this holiday is a cultural choice of a person, not a religious one. Kwanzaa embraced both African and American cultural traditions. The purpose of the celebration is to recognize and celebrate values associated with history, social structure, creativity, economics and politics. All of these components are at the core of society. The idea of the celebration is to combine the past and the future, which will contribute to progress and success in life. Cultural celebrations allow people to grow, get better with their experiences. Simply put, Kwanzaa is not a religious cult, but a manifestation of the triumph of culture and our place in it.
This is an African holiday. A more correct term, although incomplete to the end, would be that this holiday is still African American. Let's talk a little about the difference between these concepts. First of all, it is worth mentioning that Kwanzaa is an example of American creativity. The origins of the festival can be traced back to its creator, Dr. Maulen Karenga. This American lived in Los Angeles during the turbulent 60s. The doctor organized the celebration based on seven principles, which he saw as the epitome of cultural identity. Karenga believed that in the African American community of the country it is necessary to develop the cultural consciousness of people, infusing certain values there. As soon as Kwanzaa began to be celebrated, people themselves began to introduce elements and traits of their African character there. For example, Swahili began to be used to define many terms and customs of the festival. And the name of the festival itself is translated from this language as "the first fruits". So this is a truly American celebration that has its roots deep in African culture.
This holiday is for African Americans only. Today this concept is no longer as categorical as it was at the very beginning of the celebration. Kwanzaa was specifically created to address specific needs and concerns in the African American community. The celebration was to reaffirm African culture and its values. Another point is the restoration of common values in this cultural environment based on the seven principles of celebration (unity, self-determination, teamwork and responsibility, cooperation, purposefulness, faith and creativity). Third, Kwanzaa was to become a national holiday especially for African Americans. Indeed, at that time there was a fierce struggle for the civil rights of the colored population, it was necessary to restore cultural traditions. In this sense, it is worth noting that Kwanzaa had a primary focus on African Americans. But over time, society developed, the holiday itself changed. It has always been based on the idea that there should be no racial boundaries. The basic seven principles of Kwanzaa should resonate in the heart and head of any sane person. As a result, the ideology of the celebration can and should strengthen the values of the whole society, and not just the black population. As a result, the festival captures various cultural and racial strata, including whites, Asians, Latinos. And they all find a common language. Thus, it can be argued that Kwanzaa has firmly entered the homes of not only African Americans. Now this holiday can be seen as a cultural holiday not only for the entire black population, but also for all those who share its core values.
Kwanzaa replaces Christmas. This festival lasts exactly one week - from December 26 to January 1. At the same time, one of the seven principles is celebrated every day. The period of time for the celebration was not chosen at all to replace any of the traditional celebrated at this time, but rather as an alternative. There is considerable seasonal excitement and excitement at this time of year. Kwanzaa can indeed serve as an alternative to other festivities, but this is not an expressed purpose in this case. Rather, Kwanzaa has its own, different, goals - to enable people to celebrate the cultural values they profess. In other words, no one bothers or prohibits people from celebrating Christmas, Hanukkah or anything along with this holiday. Having one shouldn't be a prohibition on others After all, Kwanzaa leads people to unification, not separation or exclusion.
Kwanzaa is a holiday for non-religious people. This misconception is closely related to the first, which assumes the religious essence of the festival. But perhaps it is precisely because there was a rumor about Kwanza's religious orientation that many believers began to treat him with apprehension. In turn, this gave rise to the opinion that believers simply do not participate in the event. But in fact, everything is quite the opposite! After all, Kwanzaa is not a religious holiday, uniting people of different faiths in their adherence to common values. The American social environment is rather heterogeneous in terms of faith, but most people associate celebration with unity and close cooperation, regardless of personal religion. As a result, Kwanzaa is noted among Christians, Muslims, Jews, and Buddhists. They all salute the basic seven principles of this festival.
Kwanzaa is based on someone's political views. This statement is not surprising. After all, you can trace the roots of this holiday, coming from one person, as well as the political and racial divisions that existed at that time. There is no doubt that Dr. Kareng's political views were the motivation for the creation of Kwanzaa. However, the celebration itself has its roots in the concept of celebrating the African first harvest and the Kawaydah philosophy. A number of African communities celebrate the first harvest in a uniform manner and tradition. It was actually a time when people got together to celebrate and thank each other for their success in agriculture. Kavaida is a philosophy that emphasizes the idea of giving meaning to something in the social environment. Created on the basis of this, Kwanzaa is a holiday that simply brings people together for the purpose of transmitting and presenting cultural and social values to them.
Kwanzaa is based on pagan rituals. Like any other holiday, it has its own symbols and rituals. However, the ceremonies present here exist in the mainstream of cultural practice, and not pagan or religious cult. For example, the tradition of bottling wine (tambiko). This action is based on the ancient Egyptian tradition of remembering our ancestors and their contribution to our lives. There is a tradition of lighting candles (mishuma saba). One new candle is lit every day as a sign of one of the seven principles. Usually children do this traditionally, although any person can perform this ritual. The meaning of the action is to highlight this day and try to strengthen the action of the principle laid down in it. As a result, every action used in Kwanzaa ultimately goes back to some historical tradition and a specific purpose.
This festival is celebrated together by a large number of people. Kwanzaa is designed to bring people together. Therefore, there is nothing wrong with so many people participating in the holiday. After all, this is a family celebration that professes the basic values. So it's just as good to celebrate Kwanzaa at home with friends as it is to go outside in a crowd. In fact, many people do this and that. They listen to some ceremonies in the company of a crowded crowd, and some perform at home. There is no clear rule or obligation in this matter. The key is the participation of as many people as possible, and whether they will celebrate Kwanzaa together or individually is another question.
Kwanzaa is a political movement. Nothing could be further from the truth like this statement. The holiday aims to improve the social conditions of the people. As a result, Kwanzaa only emphasizes the importance of having a purpose in life and participating in collective work. This is a celebration, not a movement. Although politics tries to include everything related to people in its maelstrom, Kwanza seeks to rise above the ordinary and focus on the inner world of a person. Anyone admits that politics only promises to improve the material conditions of a person's life. But Kwanzaa says that everyone can become better in their souls by relaxing and celebrating during this period. Let politics in its form remain for politicians.
Kwanzaa is a fictional created excuse to rest. According to this myth, there is no reason to celebrate Kwanzaa. But that's pretty far from the truth. After all, even a quick glance at Kwanzaa will reveal how the celebration is based on rich and meaningful traditions. In fact, every aspect of Kwanzaa celebration has a story and purpose at its core. Every idea has its beginning. If someone starts to research the history of any holiday or celebration, it turns out that in the end there was some reason for its appearance and existence. In this sense, Kwanzaa is no different from the rest. However, in this case, we just see an elaborate process of creating this holiday. It was not just an attempt to create a festival out of nothing, so that people would just have fun, eat and drink. Creator Kwanzaa identified the social needs of the environment and decided that a massive festive event could gradually help in solving some issues. Dr. Karenga himself says that the holiday is a product of a creative cultural synthesis. That is, it is a product of critical selection and a reasonable mixture at several levels at once. So this holiday is really created, but created with a deep purpose.