Which Kwanzaa decorations are the best?
Dr Maulana Karenga created Kwanzaa in 1966 to find a way to bring the African community together in America. The feast, Kwanzaa, comes from the Swahili expression, “matunda ya kwanza”, which translates to “first fruits”. Each year, the holidays begin on December 26 and end on January 1, and traditional Kwanzaa decorations create a festive experience for young children.
If you need a candle holder for that next Kwanzaa, a UNITY AFRICA PYRAMID Kwanzaa Kinara Cobishowkase is handcrafted by artisans in Ghana, so each piece of art is a unique Kwanzaa decoration for you.
What to know before buying Kwanzaa decorations
What are Kwanzaa decorations?
Kwanzaa decorations serve as symbols of the Seven Principles, known as Nguzo Saba. The Principles are a set of ideals emphasizing unity, self-determination, collective work and responsibility, the cooperative economy, purpose, creativity and faith. The decorations include a mazao, a vibunzi, a kikombe cha umoja, a kinara, a mishumaa saba and a mkeka.
What do Kwanzaa decorations represent in African culture?
The mazao historically represents the ancient African farmers who work hard and cultivate crops and the mass harvest festival celebrations. Mazao consists of nuts, fruits and vegetables.
Vibunzi is a stock of corn representing fertility, with the hope that children will meet their family’s values. Each corn stock displayed signifies a child present for the celebration of the Kwanzaa festival. If there are no offspring present at a family celebration, there is always a supply of corn for each person there, as each parent is responsible for the children in the community. Children are essential in Kwanzaa as they pass on values and traditions to future generations.
The cup of unity, called kikombumoja, is used on the sixth day of Kwanzaa. Before a big feast, each family member passes the unit cup one at a time around the table until everyone has finished it.
A kinara represents ancestry and is a generally hand-carved wooden candle holder. The candles are called mishumaa saba. A black candle is placed in the center of the karina and is lit on the first day of Kwanzaa. Black symbolizes unity. Three green candles are placed to the right of the black candle. They are dedicated to the earth supporting humanity with cultures. Three red candles are to the left of the black candle and bear witness to the struggle for freedom and self-determination of people of color.
Ancient African civilizations made mkekas, which are weaves of straw and dried grain in the shape of a mat. Although they are now made from Kente cloth and African mud cloth, they represent the weaving tradition of ancient Africa. The other five decorations are displayed on the mkeka, which usually sits on a table.
Why buy Kwanzaa decorations?
Overall, the Seven Principles of Kwanzaa are values of African culture that focus on building and sustaining a unified African American community around the world. Children are an essential part of Kwanzaa. Without them, the tradition would not survive. Make it a positive experience for your children, which will arouse a certain nostalgia, lead them to do the same for their families, etc. Having beautiful decorations depicting the journey of your ancestors, one in many ways parallel to yours, is a great way to show how important Kwanzaa is to building a tight-knit African American community.
Features to look for in a quality Kwanzaa decoration
Created by Africans
Part of Kwanzaa’s message is to form a strong African community across the world, a community where community members support each other. One way to do this is to buy decorations strictly from Africans and African Americans.
Nowadays, where products are mass-produced and easily accessible to Westerners, it is difficult to find a unique, high-quality, culturally significant product. Unlike the equipment in manufacturing plants, human hands cannot produce identical products.
Traditional Kwanzaa decorations made from high quality materials will last a lifetime. Avoid plastic or glass kinaras, as well as dripping candles – they will smear your beautiful Kwanzaa display.
How much you can expect to spend on Kwanzaa decorations
The most economical decoration used for Kwanzaa costs $ 10, while the centerpiece of the Kwanzaa display will not exceed $ 70.
Kwanzaa Decorations FAQ
What does the candle lighting process look like?
A. Every evening from December 26 to January 1, family members get together and a child lights a candle, on which everyone discusses the principle of the day. Each night an additional candle is lit until all seven light up the screen on the last day.
Are there religious aspects in traditional Kwanzaa decorations?
A. Kwanzaa is not a religious holiday, but a cultural holiday, with spirituality at its heart. Many people celebrating Kwanzaa will also be celebrating holidays around the same time. Any religious faith, and truly anyone, regardless of ethnicity, can celebrate African culture.
What are the best Kwanzaa decorations to buy?
Top decoration Kwanzaa
Cobishowkase UNITY AFRICA PYRAMID Kwanzaa Kinara
What would you like to know: An engraving of the African continent is at the center of this kinara and surrounded by black color throughout the candle holder, symbolizing unity
What you will love: The kinara is hand carved by artisans in Aburi, Ghana, where it is finely sanded and coated with wax for longevity. It is made of mahogany wood, measuring 13 inches wide and five inches high.
What you should consider: Although the product photo shows candles in the kinara, it is for show only, and the candles are not included, so you will need to purchase them separately.
Or buy: Sold by Etsy
Top Kwanzaa decoration for the money
7SymbolsofKwanzaa Kente Wax Fabric
What would you like to know: This kente fabric is hand-woven, originally from the Asante people of the Akan kingdom in present-day Ghana.
What you will love: The colors green, red, yellow, and black are festive for Kwanzaa, and it is hand-woven, measuring 36 inches long and 24 inches wide. 7SymbolsofKwanzaa kente fabric is handmade in Ghana and has a wax finish for durability.
What you should consider: Depending on the display you are looking for, you can fold the mkeka to the size you want.
Or buy: Sold by Etsy
HeritageApothecary Mishumaa Saba 10 inch Drip Free Taper Candle Set
What would you like to know: A set of 7 anti-drip candles, including one black, three green and three red.
What you will love: A portion of every HeritageApothecary candle purchase will go to Trees For The Future, a 501 (c) (3) nonprofit that teaches sub-Saharan Africans how to cultivate sustainably to feed their families and communities. A free 60-page digital download discussing Kwanzaa history, recipe ideas, and gift traditions is included.
What you should consider: Traditionally, candles burn every day until they have run out of wax. Purchasing a set for each of the seven days will give each day a fresh start to discussing the principles of Kwanzaa.
Or buy: Sold by Etsy
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David Rosner written for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
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