What to Wear for a Kwanzaa Celebration

At holiday time, there are so many events to celebrate. There’s Christmas for our Christian friends, Hanukkah for our Jewish friends and Kwanzaa for our African friends.

Kwanzaa is an African celebration that takes place from December 26 to January 1. It incorporates many African traditions. It involves dancing, singing and eating cultural foods.

There is also a lighting of seven candles. Each candle represents the seven important principles of the holiday which are as follows:

·        Umoja: Unity

·        Kujichagulia: Self Determination

·        Ujma: Collective work and responsibility

·        Ujamaa: Cooperative economics

·        Nia: Purpose

·        Kuumba: Creativity

·        Imani: Faith

If you are invited to a Kwanzaa party, it is customary to wear clothing that honors the heritage, and you can do it with style and flair. Here are some outfit ideas that will be perfect for the occasion.

A Kaftan

A kaftan is a simple dress made of two panels sewn together. It typically won’t have sleeves or it may have baggy sleeves that are unrestrictive. It is ideal for Kwanzaa because it gives you the freedom to move around freely. It usually features a cultural print or a vibrant color.


Daishikis are also smock type items but unlike a kaftan that functions as a full dress, they are worn as a top only. They can be worn by men and women and are usually paired with black pants or a skirt. They feature bold prints and often some sort of embroidery as well.


A kente is a brightly colored shawl worn by both men and women. It can be worn over the shoulders or draped around the body.

Head Wraps

It is customary for African women to wear head wraps around their heads. These are brightly colored scarves that are fully wrapped around the head and tied on the top of the head in a knot. It may be difficult to get the wrap just right so be sure to practice in advance. Head wraps can be worn by men and women.

Wear the Right Colors and Styles

Kwanzaa is a time to wear bright cultural colors, prints and sequins. You can also pay homage to nature and animals with the clothing you wear. Kwanza colors are black, for the skin color of the people, red for the blood that unifies the people and green for the rich land of Africa. Wearing the right colors and prints will fit in with the holiday theme perfectly.

Add the Right Jewelry

The right jewelry will complete your look perfectly. Earrings, necklaces and bracelets made with wood and other natural materials will pay tribute to the holiday. Designs with wild animals will add a terrific flair.

Kwanzaa is a lot of fun to celebrate and you can take it to the next level with stylish looks that will make the holiday even more enjoyable. What will you be wearing when you are invited to a Kwanzaa party?

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