feature: the seven principles (nguzo saba) of kwanzaa

December 27, 2014

The Seven Principles (Nguzo Saba) of Kwanzaa are:

  • Umoja (oo-MOH-jah): Unity- Black Candle (12/26)

    Success starts with Unity. Unity of family, community, nation and race.

  • Kujichagulia (koo-jee-chah-goo-LEE-ah): Self-Determination- Red Candle next to black candle. (12/27)

    To be responsible for ourselves. To create your own destiny.

  • Ujima (oo-JEE-mah): Collective work and responsibility- Green Candle (12/28) next to black candle

    To build and maintain your community together. To work together to help one another within your community.

  • Ujamaa (oo-jah-MAH): Collective economics- Red Candle (12/29)

    To build, maintain, and support our own stores, establishments, and businesses.

  • Nia (NEE-ah): Purpose- Green Candle (12/30)

    To restore African American people to their traditional greatness. To be responsible to Those Who Came Before (our ancestors) and to Those Who Will Follow (our descendants).

  • Kuumba (koo-OOM-bah): Creativity- Red Candle (12/31)

    Using creativity and imagination to make your communities better than what you inherited.

  • Imani (ee-MAH-nee): Faith- Green Candle (1/1)

Celebrating Kwanzaa with Family & Friends. (Need Kwanzaa kinara/candle holder, 3 red candles on the left, 3 green candles on the right, one black candle in the middle)


The celebration begins with a prayer and the lighting of the black candle (usually a child). The head of the household reflect on the principle for that day with children, family members and friends. Gifts can be exchanged at this time (educational, spiritual support and culture). You then end in prayer to strive to achieve the principle throughout the year.


      Happy Kwanzaa !