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Thread: Celebrating Holidays

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    Domme Kasai may be famous one day Kasai may be famous one day Kasai's Avatar
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    Celebrating Holidays


    Kwanzaa is an African American and Pan-African holiday which celebrates family, community and culture. Celebrated from 26 December thru 1 January, its origins are in the first harvest celebrations of Africa from which it takes its name. The name Kwanzaa is derived from the phrase "matunda ya kwanza" which means "first fruits" in Swahili, a Pan-African language which is the most widely spoken African language.


    As an African American and Pan-African holiday celebrated by millions throughout the world African community, Kwanzaa brings a cultural message which speaks to the best of what it means to be African and human in the fullest sense. Given the profound significance Kwanzaa has for African Americans and indeed, the world African community, it is imperative that an authoritative source and site be made available to give an accurate and expansive account of its origins, concepts, values, symbols and practice.

    Moreover, given the continued rapid growth of Kwanzaa and the parallel expanded discussion of it and related issues, an authoritative source which aids in both framing and informing the discussion is likewise of the greatest importance. Therefore, the central interest of this website is to provide information which reveals and reaffirms the integrity, beauty and expansive meaning of the holiday and thus aids in our approaching it with the depth of thought, dignity, and sense of specialness it deserves.

    The holiday, then will of necessity, be engaged as an ancient and living cultural tradition which reflects the best of African thought and practice in its reaffirmation of the dignity of the human person in community and culture, the well-being of family and community, the integrity of the environment and our kinship with it, and the rich resource and meaning of a people's culture. It is within this understanding, then, that the Organization Us, the founding organization of Kwanzaa and the authoritative keeper of the tradition, has established and maintains this website.

    /////// /////// ///////
    Dr. Maulana Karenga
    Creator of Kwanzaa
    Chair, The Organization Us
    Chair, The National Association of
    Kawaida Organizations (NAKO)

    When I was around the age of 13 or 14 my family began celebrating Kwanzaa. I remember the very day my great Aunt decided it was time for her family to get in touch with certain aspects of our heritage and culture.

    And what many families of all races believe is that Kwanzaa is just for blacks, and that's not the case. Kwanzaa is a man-made holiday for everyone and anyone who wishes to learn and engage in the Afro-American culture and history.

    The history and events of Kwanzaa is too much to type here at AO. So, I'll provide a link to the Official Kwanzaa Site: The Official Kwanzaa Web Site - The Founder's Message 2000

    There are 7 days to Kwanzaa and each day has a principle to represent it. And at the begining of each day you ask the question, "Habari gani?" (What's the news?).

    The Nguzo Saba (Seven Principles)

    Umoja (Unity)
    To strive for and maintain unity in the family, community, nation and race.

    Kujichagulia (Self-Determination)
    To define ourselves, name ourselves, create for ourselves and speak for ourselves.

    Ujima (Collective Work and Responsibility)
    To build and maintain our community together and make our brother's and sister's problems our problems and to solve them together.

    Ujamaa (Cooperative Economics)
    To build and maintain our own stores, shops and other businesses and to profit from them together.

    Nia (Purpose)
    To make our collective vocation the building and developing of our community in order to restore our people to their traditional greatness.

    Kuumba (Creativity)

    To do always as much as we can, in the way we can, in order to leave our community more beautiful and beneficial than we inherited it.

    Imani (Faith)
    To believe with all our heart in our people, our parents, our teachers, our leaders and the righteousness and victory of our struggle.

    On each day you also light a candle on a kinara. There are three red candles, 3 red green candles, and one black candle. The black candle is reserved for the last day of Kwanzaa. The green stands for the land of Africa, the red stands for the blood of many african ancestors, and black is for the color of the people.

    You also perform a libation, give presents, and etc.

    I'm making this thread here at AO to inform first and secondly to ask if any of you celebrate Kwanzaa? Or any other holiday that is a representation of your heritage, culture and/or religion? I know Christmas and Kwanzaa is a given, but there are many holidays around the world that different nationalities celebrate.

    So, I ask that you give a bit or a lot of information about a particular holiday you celebrate that many folks may know a little/a lot about.
    Seduced by Flesh


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    Re: Celebrating Holidays

    On each day you also light a candle on a kinara. There are three red candles, 3 red green candles, and one black candle. The black candle is reserved for the last day of Kwanzaa. The green stands for the land of Africa, the red stands for the blood of many african ancestors, and black is for the color of the people.
    I'm guessing this was derived from the jewish religion? Always wondered why the candle thing looked like the jewish counterpart one.

  3. #3
    5.00 M33-6 solking may be famous one day solking may be famous one day solking's Avatar
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    Re: Celebrating Holidays

    El Dia De Los Reyes

    Quote Originally Posted by Wikipedia
    In Spain, Mexico, Cuba, Puerto Rico and some other Latin American countries Epiphany day is called El Día de los Reyes (The Day of the Kings). The day when a group of Kings or Magi of the Bible arrived to worship and bring three gifts to the baby Jesus after following a star in the heavens. This day is sometimes known as the Día de los Tres Reyes Magos (The day of the Three Magi) or La Pascua de los Negros (Holy Day of the Blackmen) in Chile, although the latter is rarely heard. In Spanish tradition, on the day of January 6th, three of the Kings: Melchor, Gaspar, and Balthazar, representing Europe, Arabia, and Africa, arrived on horse, camel and elephant, bringing respectively gold, frankincense and myrrh to the baby Jesus.

    In Spain, Argentina, and Uruguay, children (and many adults) polish and leave their shoes ready for the Kings' presents before they go to bed on 5 January. Sweet wine, nibbles, fruit and milk is left for the Kings and their camels. In Mexico, it is traditional for children to leave their shoes out on the evening of January 6, sometimes filling them with hay for the camels, so that the Kings will be generous with their gifts. In Puerto Rico, it is also a tradition for children to fill a box with grass or hay and put it underneath their bed, for the same reasons. This is analogous to children leaving mince pies or cookies and milk out for Father Christmas in Western Europe. In some parts of northern Mexico the shoes are left under the Christmas tree with a letter to the Three Kings. In the afternoon or evening of the same day the ritual of the Rosca de Reyes is shared with family and friends. The Rosca is a type of sweet-bread made with orange blossom, water, and butter; decorated with candied fruit. Baked inside is a small doll representing the baby Jesus. The person who finds the doll in his piece of rosca must throw a party on February 2nd, Candelaria Day, offering tamales and atole (a hot sweet drink thickened with corn flour) to the guests. Notably, in Spain, it is also known as Roscon; made with the same items, however, between the layers of bread, lies different flavoured whipped cream. The 'Jesus' doll evolved into a small toy similar to a Kinder Surprise. The person who gets the toy is then responsible for the purchase of the Roscon the following year.
    This is a big holiday in Puerto Rico as well as all the other Latin American countries. I celebrate this holiday every year.

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    Domme Kasai may be famous one day Kasai may be famous one day Kasai's Avatar
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    Re: Celebrating Holidays

    Quote Originally Posted by Miroku4444 View Post
    I'm guessing this was derived from the jewish religion? Always wondered why the candle thing looked like the jewish counterpart one.
    I found this information from Wikipedia about the Kinara. I'm not sure if the Jewish counterpart held the design for the same reason.

    The kinara is the candle holder used in Kwanzaa celebrations in the United States. Its divergent shape represents the roots that African Americans have in continental Africa. During the week-long celebration of Kwanzaa, seven candles are placed in the kinara - three red on the left, three green on the right, and a single black candle in the center. The seven candles represent the Seven Principles (or Nguzo Saba) of Kwanzaa. Red, green, and black are the symbolic colors of the holiday.

    During the week of Kwanzaa, a new candle is lit on the kinara each day. The center black candle is lit first, and the lighting alternates between the red and green candles beginning with the outermost red candle and moving towards the center. In this way each day of Kwanzaa is dedicated to the contemplation of one of the Seven Principles.

    The ritual of lighting the kinara closely resembles that of the menorah during the Jewish feast of Hannukah. Although very few African Americans are Jewish, many elements of Jewish culture have been assimilated into African American culture, mostly because of the story of the Exodus which tells of freedom from slavery.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    And solking, why exactly does your family celebrate it?
    Seduced by Flesh


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    5.00 M33-6 solking may be famous one day solking may be famous one day solking's Avatar
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    Re: Celebrating Holidays

    Well for that I have to go into the the history of Epiphany Day. Epiphany Day is celebrated by the Western Churches. I got another excerpt from Wikipedia about it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Wikipedia
    Epiphany (Greek: επιφάνεια, "the appearance; miraculous phenomenon") is a Christian feast intended to celebrate the 'shining forth' or revelation of God to mankind in human form, in the person of Jesus. The observance had its origins in the eastern Christian churches, and included the birth of Jesus; the visit of the Magi, or Wise Men (traditionally named Caspar, Melchior and Balthasar) who arrived in Bethlehem; and all of Jesus' childhood events, up to his baptism in the Jordan by John the Baptist. The date of the feast was fixed on January 6. Ancient Liturgies speak of Illuminatio, Manifestatio, Declaratio (Lighting, Manifestation, Declaration); cf. St. Matthew's Gospel (iii, 13-17); St. Luke's (iii, 22); and St. John's (ii, 1-11); where the Baptism and Marriage at Cana are dwelt upon. The Christian Churches have traditionally also talked of a "Revelation to the Gentiles", where the term Gentile meant all non-Jewish peoples. The Biblical Magi represent the non-Jewish peoples of the world.

    In the Western church, the feast of Christmas was established before that of Epiphany.

    The early western Church decided to celebrate Christmas on December 25. The East continued to treat January 6 as the day marking Jesus' birth. The west generally acknowledges a twelve-day festival, starting on December 25, and ending on January 6, known as Christmastide or the twelve days of Christmas, although some Christian cultures, especially those of Latin America and some in Europe extend it to as many as forty days, ending on Candlemas, or February 2 (known as Candelaria in Spanish).

    In the Western Churches it is associated principally with the visit of the Magi or Wise Men

    Prior to 1970, the Roman Catholic Church (and prior to 1976, the Anglican churches) believed Epiphany to be an eight-day feast, beginning on January 6 and continuing through the Octave of Epiphany, or January 13.

    Many traditionalist Catholics continue to use this calendar, celebrating the feast of the Holy Family on the Sunday within the octave. On the Feast of the Epiphany itself, the priest, wearing white vestments, will bless the Epiphany Water, frankincense, gold, and chalk. The chalk is used to write the initials of the three magi over the doors of churches and homes.

    More recently, many Americans mark Epiphany on the Sunday after the first Saturday in January (before this the Sunday between January 1 and January 6 in years when there was one, was designated the Feast of the Holy Name of Jesus), and most Roman Catholics in the United States and Anglicans (along with many Protestants) now formally end the Christmas season with the Baptism of the Lord, after which the first installment of Ordinary Time begins. (But note that some Churches, such as the Anglican Catholic Church, and some Roman Catholics in other countries (e.g., Italy, Spain, the Vatican), still maintain the pre-1970 calendar; for these bodies, Christmas still has twelve days and ends on January 5, and Epiphany is still celebrated on January 6 with an 8-day octave.)

    The Irish call this day Little Christmas or Women's Christmas (Irish: Nollaig na mBan). In Rome, "Epiphania" was transformed into Befana, the great fair held at that season, when sigillaria of terracotta or baked pastry were sold (Macrobius I, x, xxiv; II, xlix).

    In France, on Epiphany people eat the gâteau des Rois in Provence or the galette des Rois in the northern half of France and Belgium. This is a kind of king cake, with a trinket or a bean hidden inside. The person who gets the piece of cake with the trinket becomes king for a day.
    Latin America celebrates it in a different way but its all the same holiday in general.

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    Re: Celebrating Holidays

    Twelfth Night or the eve before Epiphany is something I am familiar with since it is still celebrated by Midevil and Renaissance re-creation groups. They try to keep the history and traditions of the past alive. My in-laws are currently involved with the "Adrian Empire" and will be hosting a feast themselves so it looks like we'll be going this year.

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    Re: Celebrating Holidays

    Quote Originally Posted by solking View Post
    El Dia De Los Reyes



    This is a big holiday in Puerto Rico as well as all the other Latin American countries. I celebrate this holiday every year.
    Your right el dia de 5 enero ''The day of the wise men'' I live in puerto Rico to.
    Thats a great day because more cultural than 25 of diciembre in P.R.



    perdoname michelle!

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    Domme Kasai may be famous one day Kasai may be famous one day Kasai's Avatar
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    Re: Celebrating Holidays

    Quote Originally Posted by Arrianna View Post
    Twelfth Night or the eve before Epiphany is something I am familiar with since it is still celebrated by Midevil and Renaissance re-creation groups. They try to keep the history and traditions of the past alive. My in-laws are currently involved with the "Adrian Empire" and will be hosting a feast themselves so it looks like we'll be going this year.
    That's really interesting, Arri.

    And I know about the El Reyes as well. I have a friend who has a mother from Spain. They dont really celebrate it, but they do know about it.


    I cant believe out of all of our members, only few celebrate different holidays and such.
    Seduced by Flesh


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