PICTURED: The Lighting of the Candles
2009 Capital City Kwanzaa Festival
Sunday, December 27, 2 – 9pm
The Showplace, 3000 Mechanicsville Turnpike, Richmond, VA
The Elegba Folklore Society, Richmond’s Cultural Ambassadors, presents one of the largest Kwanzaa celebrations on the East Coast, right here in Richmond. The festival’s stage will light up with performances that help tell the story of rich heritage and folklore. Interactive self-empowerment workshops of meaningful dialogue and special hands-on children’s activities will help the holiday’s concepts to come alive. General Admission: $6
- Featuring The Candle Lighting Ceremony
- Dr. Leonard Jeffries, Internationally Renowned African-Centered Scholar
- Bilal, Grammy-nominated Neo-soul Recording Artist
- Truth & Rights Reggae Band
- Katz Band
- Elegba Folklore Society African Dance & Music
- Workshops for Children & Adults
- The African Market of Merchandise & Food
Harambee! Let Us All Pull Together!
Details: 804-644-3900 Email firstname.lastname@example.org
Kwanzaa: Its History and Practice
Kwanzaa was created by Dr. Maulana Karenga within the African philosophy known as Kawaida, which emphasizes community, and implements the best of African thought. The name is derived from the Kiswahili phrase “Matunda ya Kwanza,” which means “first fruits.”
The heart of Kwanzaa is the Nguzo Saba, Swahili for “the Seven Principles.” The Seven Principles build and maintain family, community, and culture among African Americans and Africans. On each of the Seven Days of Kwanzaa one of the Seven Principles is the focus and celebrated through storytelling, ceremony, song, greeting, and more. Seven candles represent the principles, and together, they are known as the Mishumaa Saba.
The candles implement the colors of Kwanzaa, black, red and green. Black symbolizes the people, while red represents their struggle. Green symbolizes hope for the future that results from their struggle. The black candle is lit first on the first day of the celebration. Remaining candles are lit on the remaining days from left to right.
What is Karumu?
Held on December 31, this feast symbolizes the festive celebration of family and community togetherness and features music, dance, and ceremony. Gifts may be exchanged during the daily ceremony or during the Karamu.
The Nguzo Saba
Umoja is Unity, and reminds us to strive for and maintain unity in the family, community, nation and race. The black candle centers the kinara and represents Umoja.
Kujichagulia is Self-Determination, and encourages us to define ourselves. Ujima is Collective Work and Responsibility, which builds and sustains our community and reminds us that we share our problems and their resolutions. Ujamaa is Cooperative Economics, stressing the importance of supporting our own shops and businesses and to profit from them together. The red candles represent the principles of Kujichagulia and Ujamaa and are placed to the left of the black candle.
Nia is Purpose, reminding us to build and develop our community to restore our people to traditional greatness. Green candles represent the principles of Ujima and Nia, and they are placed to the right of the black candle.
Kuumba is Creativity, and reminds us to use our skills and talents to ensure that the community is stronger for our efforts. The candle representing Kuumba is red and is lit to the left of the black candle.
Imani is Faith, and emphasizes the importance of confidence in our families, teachers, leaders, and success. A green candle represents Imani and is to the right of the black candle.
You may also wish to visit www.KwanzaaKollective.org