Kwanzaa Party Guide

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The party guide helps plan a themed Kwanzaa event with ideas, tips in the food departments, creative crafts, and clever conversation chats, menus, recipes, cookies, cakes and food labels. Free printable games, puzzles, place name cards and coloring pages.


Kwanzaa is a rich and diverse celebration of African-American culture; one that often comes complete with vibrant parties filled with food, multicultural symbols, and of course some great music.

A Kwanzaa playlist should represent a robust mixture of traditional African songs and newer, danceable beats. This list could include:

Seven Days of Kwanzaa by Jacquie Godden
All Night Long by Lionel Ritchie
Kwanzaa by Nancy Stewart
No Woman No Cry by Bob Marley
Kwanzaa is Here by Greta Pederson
The Kwanzaa Song by William Scott
The Truth by India.Arie
Celebration by Kool and the Gang
Freedom by the Pointer Sisters
Brown Skin by India.Arie
Tomorrow People by Ziggy Marley
Montego Bay by Amazulu
Free Nelson Mandela by The Specials
A fun and meaningful playlist such as this one deserves some equally significant party supplies; that’s why every Kwanzaa host should stock up on symbols of the season. A vast assortment of Kimora candle holders and unity cups should be available, as they are the classic symbols of the Kwanzaa holiday. Classic African wall art could adorn the walls, either in portrait or poster form, and African pottery in various patterns could be posted throughout the party area. These symbols of the culture will make even the most reverent celebrators feel right at home. Quick thought: Put the favors into cellophane bags to keep them all together and so as soon as possible. Never underestimate the power of a clear glass bowl; fill it with flowers, or glass marbles, or seashells, or candy or chips, or make it a dish garden centerpiece or put holiday ornaments in it. A mixture of games both physical and mental will be welcomed by many guests when given the choice.

Handmade party supplies in red, black and green will make your Kwanzaa celebration very extraordinary. Kwanzaa is an amazing holiday for African Americans and homemade party supplies such as African flags, Kwanzaa candles and Kwanzaa table covers will make your Kwanzaa celebration very special. From handmade African flags, Kwanzaa letter banners to traditional African dresses and hats your Kwanzaa celebration will be complete.

Kwanzaa is an African American holiday that is full of parades, celebrations and special events that honor the African American culture and the addition of homemade party supplies such as red, black and green balloons, party streamers and traditional African clothes only adds to this celebrated time. Traditional party supplies such as inflatables, noise makers and musical instruments will make the celebration complete.

Most people prepare Kwanzaa homemade party supplies prior to the beginning of Kwanzaa. For instance, Kwanzaa candles are very important to this unique holiday and preparation time is important. Additional party supplies such as red, black and green Kwanzaa paper plates, cups and napkins, along with traditional Kwanzaa flags, party banners and red, black and green balloon bouquets often compare to no other party supplies. The addition of other party goods such as glow sticks, streamers, garden flags, temporary tattoos and traditional Kwanzaa party music will make your traditional Kwanzaa complete.


In the month of December we find the opportunity to have a Kwanzaa theme cake for guest to enjoy. Think about what kind of cakes might be a good choice, before doing anything then move forward. Begin by planning what will be needed on the party supplies list for doing the cake. It is a week long celebration, so start with a chocolate cake mix and follow the directions to bake and allow time for it to cool. Next will be to add the frosting and decorate with icing, plus other items. The frosting should also be chocolate as well, but optionally could be changed to desired taste. One option would be to have from red, black and green frosting in that order from the top down. At the same time drawing the continent of Africa onto the cake using those same colors as icing will work as well. Either option is fine, just as adding 3 red candles, 3 green candles and 1 black candle arranged in a line with the black candle in the center. The others are placed 3 of the same color on opposite sides of the center candle.

Kwanzaa (or Kwaanza) is a week long secular holiday to honor African American heritage. It is observed from December 26-January 1 each year, almost exclusively by African-Americans in the United States. Of course, it occurs right around Christmas which is celebrated by others.

Kwanzaa consists of seven days of celebration, featuring activities such as candle-lighting and libations, culminating in a feast and gift-giving. Founded by Ron Karenga and first celebrated in 1967, Karenga calls Kwanzaa the African American branch of "first fruits" celebrations of classical African cultures.

Karenga created Kwanzaa during his leadership of the "US Organization", in order to give African Americans an alternative holiday to Christmas. To those who thought he was adapting Kwanzaa from a traditional African practice, the Brotherhood Organization of A New Destiny (BOND), an organization that has opposed the legitimacy of Kwanzaa in the past, wrote Karenga noted "People think it's African, but it's not. I came up with Kwanzaa because black people wouldn't celebrate it if they knew it was American. Also, I put it around Christmas because I knew that's when a lot of Bloods were partying.

An additional "a" was added to "Kwanza" so that the word would have seven letters. At the time there were seven children in Karenga's United Slaves Organization, each wanted to represent one of the letters in Kwanzaa. Also, the name was meant to have a letter for each of what Karenga called the "Seven Principles of Blackness". Kwanzaa is also sometimes spelled "kwaanza".

It is a celebration that has its roots in the civil rights era of the 1960s, and was established as a means to help African Americans reconnect with what Karenga characterized as their African cultural and historical heritage by uniting in meditation and study around holy principles that have their putative origins in what Karenga asserts are "African traditions" and "common humanist principles."

In 1967, a year after Karenga proposed this new holiday, he publicly espoused the view that "Jesus was psychotic" and that Christianity was a white religion that blacks should shun. As Kwanzaa gained mainstream adherents, Karenga altered his position so as not to alienate practicing Christians, then stating in the 1997 Kwanzaa that it was a celebration of family, community, and culture.

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Kwanzaa History, Facts and Educational Resources

Add an educational twist to any birthday party, holiday celebration, or theme party.  Share the history of the Kwanzaa theme to the guests.  Play some free printable educational party games.  Shhh don't tell the kids that they are learning!

The history of Kwanzaa took place in the 20th century. In 1966, Maulana Karenga named the holiday for African Americans. It gave black people in America a chance to celebrate themselves and their history, and it served as an alternative to the traditional December holidays.

The name Kwanzaa is Swahili, and it is part of the phrase “matunda ya kwanza,” which means “first fruits of the harvest.” The language of choice reflected the status of pan-Africanism in the 1960’s.

The roots of Kwanzaa are from the black nationalist movement. African Americans were encouraged in the 1960’s to reconnect with the African culture of their ancestors. They were urged to meditate and study African traditions, along with the “seven principles of blackness,” or “Nguzu Saba.”

A Kwanzaa stamp was first issued by the U.S. Postal Service in October of 1997. It featured the artwork of Synthia Saint James. Then in 2004, a stamp was designed by Daniel Minter and issued. It had several colorfully robed figures which symbolized the “seven principles of blackness.”

In the early years of the recognition of Kwanzaa, Karenga stated that Christianity was a white religion and that Jesus was a psychotic individual. Later, he changed positions so that the practicing Christian could celebrate Kwanzaa, as well. He went on to state in 1997 that Kwanzaa was not an alternative to their religious holidays or to their original religion.

In 2009, there was an award-winning documentary was produced about Kwanzaa, entitled “The Black Candle.”

The “seven principles of blackness” are: unity, self-determination, collective work and responsibility, cooperative economics, purpose, creativity, and faith.

In 2004, about 4.5 million people celebrated Kwanzaa, although Karenga, Lee D. Baker, and the African American Cultural Center all claim different numbers.

Families who celebrate Kwanzaa decorate their homes with art and colorful African cloth objects. The women wear kaftans, and fresh fruits represent the idealism of African people. Children are included in the ceremonies, and the ancestors are given respect. The appropriate holiday greeting is “Joyous Kwanzaa.” Organization regardless of size will help ensure the day is less stressful for the hostess and more entertaining. Not everyone is a social butterfly so plan on games and activities at a gathering that let even the shy guests participate; like quizzes. Organization regardless of size will help ensure the day is less stressful for the hostess and more entertaining. The history of Kwanzaa has different interpretations by each person, so use your own judgement. Share these facts with friends at a celebration.
The Party Supplies Hut has more free elementary educational teacher resources for Kwanzaa to use in the classroom for active learning to create lesson plans with trivia questions, games and fun activities.

History of Kwanzaa
More Kwanzaa holiday educational teachers classroom resources: 

Kwanzaa Party Games
Kwanzaa Word Find
Kwanzaa Word Search
Kwanzaa Word Scramble
Kwanzaa Party Ideas
Kwanzaa Party Supplies
Educational Teacher Resources

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