The Difference Between Kwanzaa and Chanukah. This paper goes in depth on the difference between these two religions.

Essay by BionbyrHigh School, 11th grade February 2004

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The Difference Between Kwanzaa and Chanukah

The world has many different traditions and festivals towards the end of December. Two of the most interesting and traditionally rich of these come from very different cultures. The celebration of Kwanzaa is a festival of African culture and traditions, while the festival of lights or Chanukah celebrates the Jewish victory over their Syrian oppressors and the rededication of the Jerusalem Temple.

Kwanzaa is an Africa American holiday that has been adapted from various African traditions to embrace the family, culture and community of African Americans. Kwanzaa is celebrated from the Twenty-Sixth of December until New Years day. The name Kwanzaa is derived from the phrase "matunda ya kwanza" which means "first fruits" in Swahili. This festival of "first fruits" can be traced back as far to ancient Egypt and Nubia. Kwanzaa has a rich tradition in African heritage and is a time of good will.

Kwanzaa lasts for seven days, and there are consequently seven principles of Kwanzaa, all concerning values. They seek to contribute and build to African culture and strengthen families and communities. The seven principles are Unity, Self-Determination, Collective Work and Responsibility, Cooperative Economics, Purpose, Creativity, and Faith. Unity is a principle because celebrators of Kwanzaa must remember to strive for and maintain unity in the family, community, nation and race. Self-Determination is to create and speak for oneself. Collective Work and Responsibility reminds celebrants to build and maintain the community together and make the problems of their neighbors their own. Cooperative economics remind the followers of Kwanzaa's principles to maintain and run their own shops and collectively profit from them. Purpose is to collectively rebuild the community and restore the traditional greatness of the African nations. Creativity means doing as much as one can in order to leave the...