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A Colorful Kwanzaa Celebration

Gather family and friends around the table for an unforgettable celebration of African-American culture and history.

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The Seven Nights of Kwanzaa

During the last week of December, gather friends and family to enjoy traditional cultural dishes and passed-down stories of the rich history of Kwanzaa. Each night focuses on one of the central principles of Kwanzaa: unity, self-determination, collective work, cooperative economics, purpose, creativity and faith.

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Places, Please

These striking place cards are a colorful way for guests to find their seats. Since the name "Kwanzaa" is derived from a Swahili phrase meaning "first fruits," it's only fitting to place a ripe, juicy orange at each guest's setting. Write names with white chalk on pieces of black card stock, then fasten to the orange using a wire pin.

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The Kinara Goes Modern

On each of the seven nights of Kwanzaa, tradition calls for lighting one candle in a colorful candleholder, called a kinara. Each of the candles represents one of the key principles at the center of the holiday, presenting an opportunity to share these values as, one-by-one, the candles are lit. The Kinara can be made from a variety of materials; this one is crafted from plywood and glass jars and is simple enough to let the kids help create it.

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A Colorful Kwanzaa

Dress your dining room with the colors of Kwanzaa: red, green and black. Adorn a mantle with a simple garland that conveys the traditional holiday greeting, "Joyous Kwanzaa!" To make your own, cut triangles from colored card stock and draw each letter in black. Attach to ribbon by hot-glueing card stock to bottom half of ribbon, then fold ribbon over and secure with glue.

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