Music Impresario Kenny Gamble and founder of Universal Companies has partnered with Bumi Fernandez of Odunde 365 to ring in the Kwanzaa holiday with a citywide celebration, appropriately titled, “Kwanzaabration”, a free indoor festival, Citywide Kwanzaa Celebration at Universal Audenried High School, 33rd & Tasker Streets, December 28, 2013, 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM.
The pair agreed the rich tradition of Kwanzaa must be highlighted and embraced by the entire Philadelphia region.
Kwanzaa is derived from the phrase “matunda ya kwanza” which means “first fruits” in Swahili. The rich tradition of Kwanzaa is often celebrated through song and dance, African drums, storytelling, poetry reading, and a large traditional meal, starting on December 26th. On each of the seven nights, the family gathers and a child lights one of the candles on the Kinara (candleholder), then one of the seven principles is discussed – Umoja (Unity), Kujichagulia (Self-Determination), Ujima (Collective Work and Responsibility), Ujamaa (Cooperative Economics), Nia (Purpose), Kuumba (Creativity), Imani (Faith). The principles, called the Nguzo Saba (seven principles in Swahili) developed by Dr. Maulana Karenga are values of African culture which contribute to building and reinforcing community among African-Americans.
Kwanzaa also has seven basic symbols which represent values and concepts reflective of African culture. An African feast, called a Karamu, is held on December 31. The candle-lighting ceremony each evening provides the opportunity to gather and discuss the meaning of Kwanzaa. The first night, the black candle in the center is lit (and the principle of umoja/unity is discussed). One candle is lit each evening and the appropriate principle is discussed.
“Kwanzaabration” will feature a health pavilion with free health screenings, children’s pavilion with face painting, arts and crafts, ZUMBA class, and fashion show and on the main stage live entertainment; featuring children’s dance and singing groups and a spectacular performance from the Universal African Dance and Drum Ensemble.
During the event, a candle will be lit each hour to highlight the seven principles. “Kwanzaabration” is being sponsored in part by AmeriHealth Caritas; Brown’s ShopRite; PECO; PRWT Services, Inc.; NBC 10; CBS 3/CW Philly; Clear Channel Radio Stations: WDAS 105.3 FM and Power 99FM; KYW 1060 AM; Radio One Stations: Old School 100.3, Praise 103.9 and Hot 107.9; Philadelphia Daily News, Philadelphia Tribune and 900 AM WURD.
To learn more about “Kwanzaabration”, call (267) 320-4364 or visit the official website: www.kwanzaabration.org like us on facebook.com/kwanzaabration or follow us on twitter.com/kwanzaabration.
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