Does Kwanzaa have any religious overtones?

Most experts are quick to point out that the Kwanzaa is absolutely NOT a religious or political holiday. In fact, it was created by Dr. Maulana Karenga, a professor at California State University 1966. Professor Karenga wanted to establish for people of African descent in America and around the world a way to celebrate family, culture and community. The seven principles of Kwanzaa are Umoja (unity), Kujichagulia (self-determination), Ujima (collective work and responsibility), Ujamaa (cooperative economics), Nia (purpose), Kuumba (creativity) and Imani (faith). These seven principles are each designated one day of celebration during the seven days of the Kwanzaa season which is celebrated from December 26 to January 1.

Rev. Leo A. Walsh, S.T.D.

Rev. Leo A. Walsh, S.T.D.

The Rev. Leo A. Walsh, S.T.D., formerly the Interreligious Affairs specialist at the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, is now pastor of St. Benedict's Parish in Anchorage, Alaska. Photo Credit: Bob Roller, Catholic News Service (CNS).