Celebrating Hanukkah Kwanzaa with tweens
Hannukah and Kwanzaa are both observed during the Christmas season. They both have distinct similarities and differences. Kwanzaa is celebrated by African-Americans, and Hannukah is celebrated by the Jewish people. For detailed descriptions of these holidays, you can check www.Articleclick.com.
Similarities of the holidays:
- The central theme of both is commitment.
- Both holidays use symbolic forms of light. Hanukkah has a menorah, and Kwanzaa has a candleholder called a kara.
- They have almost same number of days (7) days for Kwanzaa(December 26-Jan. 1) and (8) days and nights for Hanukkah (usually a week or so before Christmas).
- Both holidays use songs, dance, storytelling, and gift-giving.
- Both holidays have a spiritual nature.
Differences between the holidays:
- Hannukah dates to 165 B.C., when the Jews, led by the Maccabees, won an important victory against the Syrians. They restored the Temple in Jerusalem, including its golden menorah. The Menorah is the main symbol of Hanukkah. It has eight individual lights, and each candle is lit each night in remembrance of how a small bit of oil from the desecrated Temple kept miraculously burning for eight days, when it should have lasted only one.
- Kwanzaa was started by a university professor forty years ago so that African-Americans from the diaspora could celebrate African culture. Kwanzaa has a Candleholder also, but it represents the roots of African ancestors and the seven principles of Kwanzaa, including Crops for African harvest, mat for their tradition, Corn for future represented by children, the Unity Cup and the Gifts.
- Kwanzaa is based on family and community, whereas Hannukah does have a religious aspect. (www.whyville.net).
- Hannukah festivities include a dreidel (small spinning top where each of four sides represents a miracle), latkes (potato pancakes fried in oil, to commemorate the oil that burned), jelly donuts, and the menorah.
Better Homes and Gardens has lots of suggestions for crafts for both holidays. (www.bhg.com/holidays/hanukkah-and-kwanzaa).
Both these holidays are joyous and filled with gift-giving for children. In both cases, sually there is a book included to symbolize learning and heritage. Los Angeles has many celebrations. The Grove lights a Hanukkah Menorah (Fairfax and 3rd in Los Angeles. Pershing Square downtown has a festival that includes a Hanukkah night and Lulu Washington’s Kwanzaa night. There is something for everyone on Hanukkah and Kwanzaa. Tweens will love getting presents, and they will probably enjoy the music, dancing, and wonderful food!