Kwanza is important to my African American friends because it gives them a chance to commemorate their heritage and the struggle that frames their futures.
Religious Life, religion is described as being about how sacred things are (Emile, 12). The holiday has different functions which elaborate more of its sacred nature of the holiday. According to Durkheim, transfiguration is seen as a change of behavior during the religious celebrations. In Kwanzaa the get more into thanks giving and they change the way they do things during the seven days of Kwanzaa. During the celebrations, the people give thanks for the successful life and well being of the family. Prayer and worship in the society is seen as a way of improving the quality of life and as service to others. Accomplishments of individuals in a family are recognized during the holiday, which includes honoring children’s school performance, the good work of individuals and recognizing the accomplishments of the community as a whole. Other concepts of the Kwanza festival include paying respect to the ancestors, celebrating harvest and dedication to practicing life affirming principles. Kwanza serves to strengthen behavior, success in school and encourage positive behavior transformation.
There are rituals of kwanza activities are carried out from the first day of the holiday to the last. The ritual activities include family gathering whereby all members of a family gather in one place to celebrate. According to Durkheim, totems are rites performed aiming to connect the people with their traditions. In Kwanzaa, there are several rites performed to connect the African Americans with their motherland traditions. (Emile, 57) One of these rites is the candle lighting ritual called “Lifting up the Light that lasts”. The significance of this ritual is to illuminate the path that brings good into the