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Kwanzaa is a week-long celebration beginning December 26 that honors African-American culture and heritage through candle-lighting, feasting and gift-giving. Traditional festivities include songs and dances, African drums and storytelling. Each night focuses on one of the primary principles of Kwanzaa: unity, self-determination, collective work and responsibility, cooperative economics, purpose, creativity and faith. A large African feast, called a karamu, is held on December 31. Kwanzaa is only four days away, so if you’re beginning to plan your celebration, then look no further. We have a fresh take on a traditional Kwanzaa tablescape that still incorporates the customary black, red and green hues and symbols in a contemporary way.

kwanzaa tablescape

kwanzaa place settings

“Kwanzaa” originates from the Swahili phrase meaning “first fruits,” so event designer Camille Styles used a juicy, ripe orange at each place setting. The contrast against sleek, black dishware is stunning, too.

kwanzaa unity cup

During the celebration the unity cup is typically passed around the table with each person taking a sip and paying homage to their ancestors. Create your own unity cup by decorating a goblet with colorful, African-inspired beads to give your Kwanzaa table an extra-vibrant addition.

kwanzaa handmade kinara

Each night during Kwanzaa one candle is lit in a traditional candleholder, called a kinara. All you need to create this modern kinara is a 2-foot long wooden plank, seven small glass jars and spray paint.

Host an unforgettable Kwanzaa celebration with friends and family with fresh ideas and inspiration from HGTV.com.

8 Responses

  1. Christina says:

    I've never known too much about Kwanzaa, so thanks for sharing and the table looks great! Yesterday, I tried something new and celebrated Winter Solstice. It's fun to learn about different holidays you don't normally participate in. :)

    Christina http://becauseofmadalene.blogspot.com/

  2. [...] Colorful and Handmade Kwanzaa Celebration HGTV Design Happens Thu, December 22, 2011 9:00 PM UTC HGTV Design Happens Rate this story Share (function(){var [...]

  3. Bowmanave says:

    How do you make it have drop?

  4. [...] a seven-night celebration that honors African-American culture and heritage. (Did you see our contemporary black, red and green Kwanzaa tablescape idea? So lovely!) If you still need to make some finishing touches to your holiday set-up or if you’re [...]

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  6. espacioygestion2015 says:

    Really objects pretty for decoration also….thanks by this article!!!

  7. reformas integrales says:

    oh my god is very very pretty
    reformas integrales

Kayla KittsKayla is a special projects editor at HGTV.com and a co-editor-in-chief for Design Happens. Kayla is an overbearing cat mom with a love for vintage-modern furniture, artisan cocktails, organizing all...


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