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The Difference Between Kwanzaa And Chanukah. This Paper Goes In Depth On The Difference Between These Two Religions.

1105 words - 4 pages

The Difference Between Kwanzaa and ChanukahThe world has many different traditions and festivals towards the end of December. Two of the most interesting and traditionally rich of these come from very different cultures. The celebration of Kwanzaa is a festival of African culture and traditions, while the festival of lights or Chanukah celebrates the Jewish victory over their Syrian oppressors and the rededication of the Jerusalem Temple.Kwanzaa is an Africa American holiday that has been adapted from various African traditions to embrace the family, culture and community of African Americans. Kwanzaa is celebrated from the Twenty-Sixth of December until New Years day. The name Kwanzaa is derived from the phrase "matunda ya kwanza" which means "first fruits" in Swahili. This festival of "first fruits" can be traced back as far to ancient Egypt and Nubia. Kwanzaa has a rich tradition in African heritage and is a time of good will.Kwanzaa lasts for seven days, and there are consequently seven principles of Kwanzaa, all concerning values. They seek to contribute and build to African culture and strengthen families and communities. The seven principles are Unity, Self-Determination, Collective Work and Responsibility, Cooperative Economics, Purpose, Creativity, and Faith. Unity is a principle because celebrators of Kwanzaa must remember to strive for and maintain unity in the family, community, nation and race. Self-Determination is to create and speak for oneself. Collective Work and Responsibility reminds celebrants to build and maintain the community together and make the problems of their neighbors their own. Cooperative economics remind the followers of Kwanzaa's principles to maintain and run their own shops and collectively profit from them. Purpose is to collectively rebuild the community and restore the traditional greatness of the African nations. Creativity means doing as much as one can in order to leave the environment and community better than when it was found. Finally faith is a faith of other Africans and their parents, teachers, and leaders.It is not uncommon for children to receive gifts over the seven days of Kwanzaa. It is not, however, nearly as commercialized as Christmas. Kwanzaa gifts must always include a book and a heritage symbol. The symbol is meant to remind the recipient of his or her African culture, traditional and history. The book symbolizes the African commitment toward learning and higher knowledge.The true celebration of Kwanzaa has nothing to do with giving gifts and receiving material things in return. A Kinara or candle holder is placed upon a mkeka or mat of African cloth and the Mishumaa Saba (seven candles) are placed in the Kinara. There is one black candle placed in the middle, three green candles to the right of it and three red to the left. The black candle represents the people, the red their struggle and the green for the future and hope that comes out of the struggle. The black candle is lit on the...

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