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Arts & Culture

Guide to Kwanzaa Celebrations in Seattle

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credit:  Stephen Chernin/Getty Images

credit: Stephen Chernin/Getty Images

Kwanzaa is a week long celebration held in the United States honoring universal African-American heritage and culture. It’s observed from December 26 to January 1 each year. It features activities such as lighting a candle holder with seven candles, and culminates in a feast and gift giving. It was created by Dr. Maulana Karenga and was first celebrated in 1966–1967.

According to the Offical Kwanzaa website, the seven day festival is in observance of The Seven Principles. The principles are based on Kawaida, the African philosophical framework in which Kwanzaa was created. The principles are Unity, Self-Determination, Collective Work & Responsibility, Cooperative Economics, Purpose, Creativity and Faith.

Kwanzaa Celebration Concert
Tuesday, December 27
6:30pm
Seattle Unity Church
200 8th Ave North
Seattle, WA 98109
206.622.8475
http://www.seattleunity.org

The FREE concert will include prayer, presentations and refreshments! The celebration of Kwanzaa is a movement to reclaim, restore and revive our African American cultural heritage. Thus it is a time for: the gathering of the people, the celebration of the culture and the renewal and affirmation of our commitment to The Seven Principles.

Kwanzaa Prayer Service
Tuesday, December 27
6:30pm
Immaculate Conception Church
820 18th Avenue
Seattle, WA 98122
206.322.5970
http://www.immaculateconceptionseattle.org

Kwanzaa: Ocheami featuring Kofi & Amma Anang
Thursday, December 29
11:30am and 1:30pm
The Children’s Museum Seattle
Center House – Ground Level
305 Harrison Street
Seattle, WA 98109
thechildrensmuseum.org

Kwanzaa is featured December 23, 26, 27, 28 and 29 at the Children’s Museum, Seattle. On December 29, it’s a special Kwanzaa program with Ocheami featuring Kofi & Amma Anang. Ocheami is a group of performers with a common goal, to study and share West African culture with their audiences. In the Ga Language (Ghana, Africa), Ocheami means linquist, the representative who speaks on behalf of the chief. Performers speaking on behalf of West African people through drumming, dance, song and storytelling. Ocheami is currently celebrating 21+ years of providing excellent performances in these disciplines. Ocheami’s work is guided by deep beliefs in the celebration of diversity, and is based on the seven principles of Kwanzaa.

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