Kwanzaa 2009 | Other holidays are upcoming BESIDES Christmas

Kwanzaa 2009 will be December 26th to January 1st

Happy Holidays, Merry Christmas, Joyous Kwanzaa, Happy Festivus, and so forth. From Wikimedia Commons

Happy Holidays. From Wikimedia Commons

Kwanzaa is one of the three main end of the year holidays, along with Christmas and Hannukah, and searches for “Kwanzaa 2009″ on Google Trends indicate that some people are wondering when it occurs.  Those unfamiliar shall now be illuminated.  Kwanzaa is celebrated from the 26th of December to January 1st, every year – the dates of the observance never vary, as Hannukah’s do.  Hannukah varies in accordance with the Hebrew Calendar, which we’ll get into later. So if you are curious about holidays other than Christmas, there’s plenty of information out there on them, and you won’t need payday loans for an encyclopedia.

Kwanzaa, in brief

Kwanzaa was created in the 1960s by Ron Karenga, an African American activist.  It was first celebrated December 26th, 1966, to January 1st, 1967.  It is a festival seven days in length, one day of observance for each of seven principles:

  • Umoja, or Unity
  • Kujichagulia, or Self Determination
  • Ujima, or Collective Work/Responsibility
  • Ujamaa, or Collective Economics
  • Nia, or Purpose
  • Kuumba, or Creativity
  • Imani, or Faith

The holiday is meant to celebrate the African heritage of African Americans, and to reflect upon the traditions and roots of the African American people.  Somewhere between 5 million and 12 million Americans celebrate it annually.  The appropriate greeting and answer is “Joyous Kwanzaa.”

Technically, we’re closer to Hanukkah as of now

It’s somewhat curious as to why people are looking for the date of Kwanzaa right now, as it doesn’t vary and we’re technically closer to Hannukkah anyway.  Hannukah 2009 begins sunset December 11th and ends at sunset on December 19th.  The start and end of Hannukkah varies year to year, as the Hebrew calendar is a lunisolar calendar. We’re on the exclusively solar Gregorian Calendar, in case anyone is wondering.

Some other holidays observed during the Holiday Season

Winter festivals are a human tradition that nearly every culture on Earth observes in some form or another.  You can probably guess why: because of the Winter Solstice, and of course the beginning of a new year.  For instance, December 8th is Bodhi Day, or a day commemorating when Buddha (Siddartha Guatama) received Enlightenment.  Some others include the Pastafarian, or the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster celebration of Holiday, which they are encouraged to celebrate whenever they want.  And of course, as if I wasn’t going to bring it up, December 23rd marks Festivus for the rest of us. Later, there will indeed be an Airing of Grievances and Feats of Strength.

Happy Holidays becomes appropriate if more than one holiday is celebrated

There’s a lot of controversy that the phrase “Happy Holidays” is some sort of slight (A Hint: it isn’t.) If we are lucky enough to live in a nation where the government doesn’t dictate to us what we’re supposed to believe, no matter where we side, the phrase “Happy Holidays” is an acknowledgement of that freedom to choose.  So to recap – Kwanzaa 2009 will be December 26th, 2009 to January 1st, 2010. Those are the other holidays in the works.

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