Kwanzaa 2009 | Other holidays are upcoming BESIDES Christmas

Wednesday, July 3rd, 2013 By

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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This post has 11 comments

  1. DOG says:

    The lunatics from 2010 have spoken! Ya man, do your own thing! I am inventing the holiday of stupid day, yup, let it all hang out, puf-puff. I know it is of no concern to the fringe, but there is only one federal legal holiday, that legal holiday is callled "Christmas". Yes, like it or not for those IQ challenged among us, this is the fact. Now, if you want to develop a new cult (and there are thousands today) go right ahead, it is a free country. But, until you change the law, you are incorrect to refer to any holiday holding an equal place with Christmas.

    • PeterStone2112 says:

      It is true that Christmas is the only one recognized by the government – but then again, everyone knows that. But Christmas isn't good enough for everyone. Some people need a Festivus For The Rest Of Us!

  2. Jeff says:

    This should become a recognized holiday. Get the day off from work and let the retailers make some money. Everybody wins!

  3. Peter Stone says:

    Wow – I’m glad to see some lively debate over the little post I wrote. And in response, I will mention that I was aware of the background of Ron Karenga, but I left it aside because I just didn’t want to get into it.
    I, for one, have always felt that people should celebrate the holiday that they see fit to celebrate during the end of the year as they see fit and leave everyone else alone. Usually, when someone makes an attack on someone else’s customs or bemoans the attack on their own it usually reveals an insecure character and a human need to feel superior to someone else. Certain personalities on TV networks I won’t mention have proved that point time and again, and that’s no spin. (You know who I mean.) Which, obviously, is ridiculous because regardless of…well, anything we’re all going to wind up just as dead. If someone wants to celebrate Festivus, or Christmas, or Hanukkah, or Holiday, or not at all, it’s an individual’s choice. And that is what liberty is all about.

  4. Ritornella says:

    The thing I find saddest about this is that people are silly enough to want to separate themselves in to groups of race and colour instead of all just being folks and ignoring all the silly hype over holidays and celebrations. Celebrate everything or nothing.

  5. Sherise says:

    As a Native American; a decorated combat veteran and a veteran of the 9/11 crisis – I am saddened by the tone and spirit of those comments referencing the relatively new holiday referred to as Kwanzaa. I am reminded of an old saying "The word is not the thing", i.e. while the statements of Mr. Karenga's past may very well be true he is not "Kwanzaa" and no matter how noble or ignoble his motives he is not the thing.

    Institutionalized racism, inhumane treatment of its indigenous peoples coupled with the inhumane treatment of its African citizens is a sad and grim reality of America's past – moreover, there was a point in America's history when the overwhelming majority of its citizens, across the spectrum were indeed racist.

    The reality is that America's hands are stained with the blood of "Millions" – here and abroad. If Kwanzaa can help a people who have been burdened by the shackles of enslavement and oppression find a spark of hope – something to make them feel proud about their being than I say "so be it".

    Moreover, I for one do not want my children to grow up in a hate filled world – do you?

    It is my contention that our world's children deserve a better future than the one that we have forged for ourselves. Just look around and see where man's hatred of man has gotten us.

    I for one have nothing better to replace "Kwanzaa" with and so I ask you Paul and Connie do you have something constructive to replace Mr. Karenga's created holiday with?

    Are you part of the problem or are you courageous enough to be part of the solution?

    Are you strong enough to lay aside your own selfish motivations and do what is best for all of America or are you like many who just take from America and are willing to do little or nothing for its betterment?

    Enjoy the freedoms but do nothing to preserve them; I have seen many brave men and women of all races die so that you could enjoy the very freedom of speech that you display here – think about! You seem to be very intelligent – I simply ask you to redirect your energies toward more positive pursuits – make this "our America a better place" as any coward can spew hate filled messages devoid of love – you see love of mankind by its very nature forces us to be vulnerable.

    So see the movie "Avatar"

    Lastingly & Lovingly,


  6. Paul says:

    The Kwanzaa Hoax

    "Anywhere we are, Us is."

    That looks like a line from an Amos 'N Andy show. One can easily imagine that it served as the motto of the Mystic Knights of the Sea, and that it was recited by such characters as The Kingfish, Andy Brown and Algonquin J. Calhoun.

    In fact, however, the line that I have quoted is the motto of a real organization — a real organization that was originally named United Slaves but now calls itself The Organization Us (or simply Us or US). It was created some 40 years ago, in Southern California, by a black racist who had begun life as Ron N. Everett but later had assumed the name Maulana Karenga.

    Karenga — known chiefly as the inventor of Kwanzaa, a fake "African" holiday that he contrived in 1966 — has enjoyed a truly colorful career. He was a prominent black nationalist during the 1960s, when his organization was involved in various violent operations. He was sent to prison in 1971, after he and some of his pals tortured two women with a soldering iron and a vise, among other things. He emerged from prison in 1974, and a few years later — in a maneuver that even The Kingfish might have found difficult — he got himself installed as the chairman of the Department of Black Studies at California State University at Long Beach. CSULB wasn't the only American university that got the racial willies during the 1970s and set up a tin-pot black-studies department, but CSULB (as far as I know) was the only one that hired a chairman who was a violent felon.

    Karenga is still working at CSULB and is still running The Organization Us, and he and Us are still promoting his proprietary holiday, Kwanzaa. Prentice Hall is promoting it too, so The American Nation displays a picture of "an American family's celebration of Kwanzaa" — but The American Nation doesn't tell anything about Karenga, about his rules for carrying out a "celebration of Kwanzaa," or about his make-believe Africanism.

    Kwanzaa is supposed to be celebrated from 26 December through 1 January: It competes with Christmas and Chanukah while incorporating some echoes of both, e.g., gift-giving and a ceremony built around a seven-holed candle-holder that recalls Judaism's seven-branched menorah.

    Karenga has concocted some bits of lore, lingo, and mumbo-jumbo that are intended to make Kwanzaa look like something out of Africa instead of something from Los Angeles County, but his efforts have been feeble. If you scan The Official Kwanzaa Web Site, you'll read that the origins of Kwanzaa lie in "the first harvest celebrations of Africa," which allegedly "are recorded in African history as far back as ancient Egypt and Nubia" — but there is no explanation of why any ancient Egyptians or Nubians might have held harvest festivals around the time of the winter solstice, and there is no identification of the crops that they harvested. Karenga's formula for celebrating Kwanzaa requires the use of two ears of maize — but maize is a New World plant, and it wasn't known at all in ancient Africa.

    True believers can purchase ears of maize and other Kwanzaa equipment (e.g., candles and seven-holed candle-holders and straw mats) from the University of Sankore Press, a company in Los Angeles. This outfit evidently is controlled by Us and serves as Us's marketing unit. It isn't a university press, and its name is a mockery. The so-called University of Sankore was an aggregation of Islamic schools that flourished at Timbuktu in the 14th, 15th and 16th centuries. No University of Sankore exists today.

    In Karenga's Kwanzaa-lingo, ears of maize are called by the Swahili name "muhindi." In fact, all the objects that Karenga has worked into Kwanzaa have names taken from Swahili, which The Official Kwanzaa Web site describes as "a Pan-African language" and "the most widely spoken African language." The labeling of Swahili as a "Pan-African" language is rubbish. Swahili — a Bantu tongue that includes many words absorbed from Arabic, from Persian and from certain Indian languages — is spoken by some 50 million people (i.e., about 7% of Africa's population). Most of those Swahili-speakers are concentrated in eastern Africa, in a region that includes Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania and a strip of Zaire. The language which is used most widely in Africa is Arabic; and indeed, Swahili was originally written in Arabic script.

    Kwanzaa is a hoax — a hoax built around fake history and pseudohistorical delusions

    • Connie says:

      Paul hit it the nail on the head. Maybe more people should check out the so called "creator" of this so called holiday. Pure racist rubbish.

    • Bubba says:

      @Paul re: "Kwanzaa is a hoax — a hoax built around fake history and pseudohistorical delusions"

      What exactly is Christmas then?

  7. janet says:

    I love all winter holidays! Thank you for explaining Kwanzaa again to us!

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