Decorate Your Home For Kwanzaa

Decorate your home in the traditional colors of the holiday — green, red and black — using streamers, balloons and African prints. Display African art objects, textiles and maps on tables and walls. Most importantly, set aside a special place for your Kwanzaa set.

A Kwanzaa set, which includes the traditional symbols of Kwanzaa, should be the centerpiece of your Kwanzaa celebration. Place these items on a low table or on the floor, in a central location of your party area. Place colorful floor pillows around the table for guests to sit on.

How to display your Kwanzaa set:

  1. Cover a table with an African cloth that is green, red and black.
  2. Place a large mat (called a mkeka) on the cloth. The other items will then be placed on, or around, the mat.
  3. Put the Kwanzaa candleholder (kinara) on the cloth, and add the seven candles (mishumaa saba): one black, three red and three green. The black candle goes in the center, the green candles to the right of it and the red candles to its left.
  4. Crops (mazao), usually represented by various colorful fruits and vegetables, are then placed on the table, along with ears of corn. The corn symbolizes children; there should be an ear of corn on the table for each child in the family. If there are no children in your home, place two ears on the table to represent the importance of children to the community.
  5. The next item you display is your unity cup (kikombe cha umoja).
  6. Lastly, round out your display with traditional Kwanzaa gifts (zawadi): books, African art objects and handmade items.
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