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How to light the Kinara for Kwanzaa celebration

Kwanzaa is coming! Kwanzaa is coming!

Kwanzaa is a 7-day African-American & Pan-African cultural holiday that celebrates family, community, and culture. It's our festive time for feasting, celebrating our ancestors, and reflecting on more ways for us to thrive.

The colors of Kwanzaa are blackred, & green; black for us as a people, red for our struggle, and green for the future hope that comes from our struggle. One of the most important traditions is lighting the seven candles in a kinara. It is a symbolic ritual in a Kwanzaa ceremony.

These candles correspond with the seven principles of African heritage and help keep those ideas ever-present. Each candle features one of the seven principles (Umoja, Kujichagulia, Ujima, Ujamaa, Nia, Kuumba, and Imani).

They are lit beginning with the black candle, (Umoja). Then they are lit in alternate left and right, lighting from inward to outward. Thus, after the black candle, the red candle closest to it, Kujichagulia (2) is lit. Next the green candle Ujima (3) closest to the black is lit. The sequence is followed with alternating red and green lighting until the last candle, the green candle Imani (7) is lit.

The black is centered and lit first to stress the priority of the people. The red candle is lit next to show the importance of struggle. And the green represents the good future that is forged in righteous and relentless struggle. Thus, first the people (black), then the struggle (red), then the future (green) that emerges from the struggle.
Excerpt from: https://africanamericanculturalcenter-la.org/lifting-up-the-light-that-lasts/
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