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Etymology

Coined by Maulana Karenga 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 of Blackness.

Pronunciation

Proper noun

Kwanzaa (plural Kwanzaas)

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