Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. An African-American cultural festival, celebrated from December 26 to January 1.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • proper n. A week-long African-American cultural holiday held between December 26 and January 1.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a festival featuring African-American culture; celebrated between Christmas and New Year

Etymologies

Possibly from Swahili kwanzaa, first fruit of the harvest, from kwanza, first.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
The name Kwanzaa derives from the Swahili phrase ‘matunda ya kwanza’, meaning “first fruits”. The additional “a” was added to “Kwanza” so that the word would have seven letters, one for each of the Seven Principles “Nguzu Saba” of Blackness. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • Seriously, this idea that Kwanzaa is fundamentally different from other holidays is silly and unreflective.

    A Festivus for the Rest of Us

  • The whole idea of Kwanzaa is about bringing together the black community (although the ratio of black: white at this party was 2: 4, oddly enough).

    The War on Christmas

  • The Christians resent the Jews for muscling in Hannukah in December and making it eight days instead of one, and some whites think Kwanzaa is made-up just to give the black people something of their own -- as if Christmas wasn't a cobbled-together collection of pagan rituals, symbols and rip-offs from the Romans, the Celts, the Huns, the Norse, and the Coca Cola and Macy's marketing departments.

    December 2006

  • Kwanzaa is an American holiday, created in celebration of African American family and culture.

    Think Progress » White House In Disarray: Contradicting Snow, Gonzales Says Bush Opposes Making English The National Language

  • The name Kwanzaa is an East African term for "first fruits."

    What you need to know about Kwanzaa

  • Second, understand that Kwanzaa is not some ancient African ethno-cultural tradition.

    Coyote Blog » 2004 » December

  • The specific values celebrated in Kwanzaa, however, suck.

    Coyote Blog » 2004 » December

  • A December tradition here at iSteve. com is our attempt to find out if anyone in Kwanzaa's 35 years of bureaucratically recognized existence has ever written a Kwanzaa song that is not intended either to parody Kwanzaa or to indoctrinate children, but simply to celebrate the holiday.

    iSteve.com's 4th Annual Kwanzaa Song Search

  • That in contrast to searching, for example, on the word Kwanzaa, which took you directly to 77 items related to that word specifically.

    CNN Transcript Nov 11, 2005

  • Bye-Bye Kwanzaa - What's fascinating about Kwanzaa is that its relentless advance in official recognition is solely a product of the Left's "march through the institutions."

    Have you ever heard a Kwanzaa song?

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