Sharing warm Kwanzaa greetings with friends and family is a good way to begin the Kwanzaa celebration.
Kwanzaa, an African-American holiday celebrating family, history, culture, and community, is observed every year for seven days from December 26 to January 1.
The name Kwanzaa derives from the Swahili phrase “matunda ya Kwanzaa,” meaning the “first fruits.”
Happy Kwanzaa Greetings
1.) Kwanzaa is a reminder that good things happen around a table.
2.) Wishing you a wonderful Kwanzaa.
3.) Have a happy Kwanzaa festival.
4.) Let us have the best time of the year on the occasion of Kwanzaa.
5.) May God provide your family with a happy, loving, and prosperous life.
6.) Wishing you a day of love and feasts with family and friends.
7.) Family happiness is the best kind of happiness. Have a wonderful time celebrating Kwanzaa.
8.) Light Kwanzaa candles to bring peace and joy into your home.
Good Kwanzaa Wishes
Here are some more heartfelt Kwanzaa greetings to share.
9.) Many happy Kwanzaa greetings to you and your family.
10.) May you be graced with your favorite company for the next seven days.
11.) Warmest regards for a happy Kwanzaa.
12.) Let the Kwanzaa candles bring you new rays of hope and happiness in your life, along with the courage and strength to fulfill your dreams.
Bill Clinton on the Holiday
13.) The seven principles of Kwanzaa – unity, self-determination, collective work and responsibility, cooperative economics, purpose, creativity, and faith – teach us that when we come together to strengthen our families and communities and honor the lesson of the past, we can face the future with joy and optimism.
President Bill Clinton
Short Kwanzaa Messages
If you need to keep your Kwanzaa greetings on the short side, consider one of these wishes.
14.) Kujichagulia Greetings.
15.) Happy Kwanzaa!
16.) Habari Gani? (Swahili meaning: How are you?)
17.) We will never know ourselves if we do not know our history.
18.) Kwanzaa has a life of its own. Kwanzaa is about the spirit of people.
19.) I am because we are.
20.) You are a gift to our community.
21.) First fruits of the harvest.
22.) Kwanzaa blessings to you. (One of the simpler Kwanzaa greetings.)
23.) Black and Beautiful.
24.) Wishing you the joy that unity brings.
25.) Sticks in a bundle are unbreakable. (African proverb)
26.) So powerful is the light of unity that it can illuminate the whole earth.
27.) A merry Kwanzaa and New Year to you!
28.) The time is always right to do what is right.
Martin Luther King, Jr.
29.) The Kwanzaa holiday, then, will, of necessity, be engaged as an ancient and living cultural tradition which reflects the best of African thought and practices; it 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.
30.) We have religious holidays, and we have secular holidays. I see Kwanzaa as an opportunity for African Americans to reaffirm ourselves, if we choose to, a chance to rebuild and renew our focus. I see Kwanza as a holiday of the spirit.
31.) For Africa, to me, is more than a glamorous fact. It is a historical truth. No man can know where he is going unless he knows exactly where he has been and exactly how he arrived at his present place.
32.) I say Merry Christmas to people I don’t know or to people I know are Christians. I say Happy Hanukkah to people I know to be or suspect to be Jewish. And I don’t say Happy Kwanzaa because I think African Americans get enough insults all year round.
33.) Kwanzaa affirms that mothers and fathers of previous generations transmitted African Americans’ existence and persistence to the mothers and fathers of today. Pass it on.
Dorothy Winbush Riley
Sayings for Kwanzaa
34.) Kwanzaa is a pan-African celebration of heritage and culture and family and community. The principles and the manner of observing the holiday lift traditional values that are key to our lives.
35.) Many Americans celebrate both Christmas and Xmas. Others celebrate one or the other. And some of us celebrate holidays that, although unconnected with the winter solstice, occur near it: Ramadan, Hanukkah, and Kwanzaa.
36.) Kwanzaa is a holiday that should be celebrated by everyone, not just the black community.
37.) Do what you do. This Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, New Year’s Eve, Twelfth Night, Valentine’s Day, Mardi Gras, St. Paddy’s Day, and every day hereafter. Just do what you do. Live out your life and your traditions on your terms. If it offends others, so be it. That’s their problem.
38.) Kwanzaa is a special time to remember the ancestors, the bridge builders, and the leaders.
Dorothy Winbush Riley
39.) Faith is courage; it is creative, while despair is always destructive.
David S. Muzzey
40.) Cross the river in a crowd, and the crocodile won’t eat you.
41.) In all things that are purely social, we can be as separate as the fingers, yet one as the hand in all things essential to mutual progress.
Booker T. Washington
Inspirational Kwanzaa Quotes
42.) We are each other’s harvest; we are each other’s business; we are each other’s magnitude and bond.
43.) We build our temples for tomorrow, strong as we know how, and we stand on top of the mountain, free within ourselves.
44.) We all should know that diversity makes for a rich tapestry, and we must understand that all the threads of the tapestry are equal in value no matter what their color.
45.) Our children need a sense of specialness that comes from participating in a known and loved ritual. They need the mastery of self-discipline that comes from order. (And) They need the self-awareness that comes from a knowledge of their past. They need Kwanzaa as a tool for building their future and our own.
Jessica B. Harris
46.) Return to old watering holes for more than water; friends and dreams are there to meet you.
47.) A man is called selfish not for pursuing his good but for neglecting his neighbor’s.
48.) There is no one who became rich because he broke a holiday; no one became fat because he broke a fast.
49.) It is clear that we must find an African solution to our problems and that this can only be found in African unity. Divided we are weak; united, Africa could become one of the greatest forces for good in the world.
50.) Each of us is a being in himself and a being in society; each of us needs to understand himself and understand others, take care of others, and be taken care of himself.
When do we celebrate Kwanzaa?
Kwanzaa begins on December 26th and continues for a week until the New Year. A candle is lit in a special candleholder called a kinara each day of the week.
Some African Americans celebrate Christmas and Kwanzaa together. Kwanzaa is not considered a religious holiday but does celebrate the end of one year and the beginning of the next.
Who Started the Holiday?
The person who developed and championed the Kwanzaa holiday was Maulana Karenga. The holiday was created in 1966-1967.
Mr. Karenga was a professor of African Studies who took great pride in establishing a unique holiday that all African Americans could celebrate. He holds two Ph. D.s in African Studies and Social Ethics.
What are the Seven Principles of Kwanzaa?
As part of his Kwanzaa philosophy, Professor Karenga established a guide that he called the Seven Principles of Kwanzaa.
Here are the seven principles of Kwanzaa in Swahili with English translations and accompanying quotes on each principle:
1.) Umoja: Unity. We must strive to maintain unity in the family, community, nation, and race.
So powerful is the light of unity that it can illuminate the whole earth. Bahá’u’lláh
2.) Kuiichagulia: Self-Determination.
Equality and self-determination should never be divided in the name of religious or ideological fervor.
3.) Ujima: Collective Work and Responsibility.
It is our collective and individual responsibility to preserve and tend to the environment in which we all live.
The Dalai Lama
4.) Ujamaa: Cooperative Economics.
To build and maintain our own stores, shops, and other businesses and to profit from them together.
5.) Nia: Purpose.
To make our collective vocation the building and developing of our community to restore our people to their traditional greatness.
6.) Kuumba: Creativity.
You can’t use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have.
7.) Imani: Faith.
To believe with all our hearts in our people, our parents, our teachers, our leaders, and the righteousness and victory of our struggle.
The seven guiding principles are intended to give people a glimpse at why Kwanzaa is celebrated and the things Kwanzaa represents.
The principles give a solid founding rationale for how communities, not just African-American communities, can work together to grow and flourish.
How Kwanzaa is Celebrated?
Kwanzaa celebrates African culture. Part of African culture is delicious food. Food can be prepared Cajun-style from the islands; spiced chicken or lamb will be served. Side dishes might include greens, rice, beans, and coleslaw. Fresh fruit is also arranged and eaten with all meals.
In addition, music is a big part of the Kwanzaa celebration. There can be singing (a large collection of songs has been written about Kwanzaa). Playing drums and dancing is also a popular part of Kwanzaa. Children are also encouraged to do crafts that reflect their African heritage.
How To Decorate for Kwanzaa
To start, the kinara (a special candleholder representing the Seven Principles of Kwanzaa) is positioned in a place of honor in the house.
Colorful fabric may drape the base of the kinara and art objects are hung and placed around the house. Kwanzaa is all about joy and color, and the decorations reflect this.
Some families celebrate Kwanzaa and Christmas together. The traditional Christmas tree is decorated in Pan-African colors; red, green, and yellow.
The tree is covered with Kwanzaa symbols, including candles, cups, ears of corn, fruits, and vegetables. The festive combination of Kwanzaa and Christmas is a spectacle to behold.
By T.R. Moodie
T.R. Moodie believes that we would be better off as a planet if we all celebrated each other’s holidays. So, Habari Gani? (Swahili for How are you, a traditional Kwanzaa greeting), Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Joyful Las Posadas, Happy Eid Al-Fitr, Glorious Diwali, and Happy Chinese New Year.
You’re on our Kwanzaa Greetings page.
You might like: