Meaning of Kwanzaa in English:


Pronunciation /ˈkwanzɑː/


  • A secular festival observed by many African Americans from 26 December to 1 January as a celebration of their cultural heritage and traditional values.

    ‘If your family observes Kwanzaa, ask if you can have a friend over to learn about the rituals.’
    • ‘On Christmas morning we go into the living room and gather around the Kwanzaa set we put out the night before.’
    • ‘Do you really want a giant Kwanzaa candelabra at City Hall this December?’
    • ‘I am grateful for the many Kwanzaa storybooks available to our children.’
    • ‘For African Americans who observe Kwanzaa, we give to underscore values of community and cooperation we hold dear.’
    • ‘The seven principles of Kwanzaa are rooted in African traditions.’
    • ‘Many African Americans now celebrate Kwanzaa, an alternative festival with a focus on traditional African values.’
    • ‘Another looks at African-American Kwanzaa celebrations, with cards, candles and table decorations.’
    • ‘My kid is so into the holidays, he's been trying to talk us into celebrating Kwanzaa.’
    • ‘Candles are also used in celebrations of Kwanzaa, which is an African American holiday, which runs from December 26 to January 1.’
    • ‘The Kwanzaa celebration, a 1966 creation by Dr. Maulana Karenga, is a seven-day celebration beginning on December 26 and ending on January 1.’
    • ‘Iowa State's fourth annual Kwanzaa celebration will begin at 2 p.m. Saturday, December 2, in Fisher Theater.’
    • ‘We enjoyed visiting lecturers, reunions, and four years worth of Kwanzaa and Black history month celebrations.’
    • ‘So far I've been invited to celebrations for Christmas, Eid, Kwanzaa and Hanukkah, which is very cool.’
    • ‘Christmas, Chanukah, Kwanzaa and half a dozen other religious festivals occur.’
    • ‘Several young children give us their take on the celebration of life known as Kwanzaa.’
    • ‘You don't change the name of Kwanzaa to something else, you don't change the name of a Menorah to a candlestick, nor do you change the name of a Christmas tree to a holiday tree.’
    • ‘You are incredible for including both Hanukkah and Kwanzaa.’
    • ‘The cloth marks important events, such as Christmas, Kwanzaa, graduations, and Black History Month.’
    • ‘Well, the lighting of these candles signifies the start of Kwanzaa.’


1970s from Kiswahili matunda ya kwanza, literally ‘first fruits (of the harvest)’, from kwanza ‘first’.