The holiday season is here — a time when all cultures and creeds celebrate the Universal truths of life, including love, family, community, and spirituality. Every culture honors the special time of year in its own way. One of the youngest holidays to join the batch is Kwanzaa, an annual celebration created in 1966 by Professor by Maulana Karenga.
Kwanzaa, which takes place from 26th December to 1st January, got its name from the phrase ‘matunda ya kwanza’ which means ‘first fruits’ in Swahili. The seven principles of Kwanzaa are unity; self-determination; collective work and responsibility; cooperative economics; purpose; creativity; and earth. According to a National Survey, nearly 12.5 million Americans celebrate Kwanzaa every year.
Although the holiday isn’t as recognized as Hanukkah and Christmas, it still has its fair share of famous celebrants. In 2015, Barack and Michelle Obama shared a touching message about Kwanzaa, sharing”
“Michelle and I extend our warmest wishes to families across the country celebrating Kwanzaa this holiday season. And in the spirit of the season, we reflect on the blessings of the past year and commit to building a brighter future for all our children. As families, friends, and neighbors come together today to light the Kinara, our family sends our best wishes for a happy and healthy new year.”
In honor of the prestigious holiday, take a look at these celebs who celebrate Kwanzaa.
In a 2008 article with Vanity Fair, Jolie shared:
“We’ll celebrate Kwanzaa for our girl. We’ll celebrate moon and water festivals for our boys. We’ll take them to temples in certain countries. Also to church.”
In a 2013 interview, the actress revealed that her family celebrated Christmas and Kwanzaa when she was growing up.
Holly Robinson Peete
The actress shared a gorgeous photo of her family celebrating Kwanzaa, writing, “Happy Happy#Kwanzaa! Today is the first day of Kwanzaa -celebrating “Umoja” Meaning Unity in “Swahili” which stresses the importance of togetherness. I am because We are!”
The late poet shared her love for Kwanzaa in the documentary, Kwanzaa: The Black Candle, saying “It is a time when we gather in the spirit of family and community, to celebrate life, love, unity, and hope.”
The rapper has always been vocal about celebrating the holiday. He was also featured alongside Maya Angelou in the 2008 documentary Kwanzaa: The Black Candle.
Tyrese Gibson (maybe)
The singer has yet to confirm if he celebrates Kwanzaa IRL, but he was the face of the holiday in a 1999 episode of Blues Clues.
Happy Kwanzaa to all!