Winter Holidays Around the World - The Seven Candles Craft for Kwanzaa

Kwanzaa is a week-long celebration observed in the United States from December 26th to January 1st each year honoring African heritage and culture. As you and your children celebrate - or perhaps simply wish to learn about and explore the various winter holidays celebrated around the world - here are some great craft ideas that will open the door to discussion about the symbols, traditions, and history of the holiday.

Winter Holidays Around the World Kwanzaa Craft for Kids
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The Kinara (candleholder) and the seven candles, known as Mishumaa Saba, are important symbols in the history and tradition of Kwanzaa. While the candleholder is symbolic of the peoples of Africa and the ancestral heritage of those celebrating the traditions of the holiday, the candles - three green, three red, and one black - are used to represent the seven principles of Kwanzaa.

  • The black candle, lit first on the 26th of December, represents Umoja (unity).
  • The green candles represent Nia (purpose), Ujima (collective Work and Responsibility), and Imani (faith).
  • The red candles represent Kujichagulia (self-Determination), Ujamaa (cooperative Economics), and Kuumba (creativity).

To create your own Kinaras and Mishumaa Sabas, all you'll need is some construction paper and some scissors! And perhaps some letter stickers or marker as well in order to label the candles with their respective principle!