Karamu is the Kiswahili word meaning feast.
The karamu is traditionally celebrated on December 31. We hold our karamu on January 1. I figure that after partying (or praying) the night before, people might like to have someone else do the cooking on New Year’s Day.
January 1, is also Jubilee Day, for South Carolinians like my mom. January 1, 1863 was the effective date of the Emancipation Proclamation.
There was, apparently, a Jubilee Day celebration in the Caribbean when the British outlawed enslavement, as well.
Juneteenth, celebrated June 19th, is the better known Emancipation Holiday. I just discovered that it is recognized in about thirteen states. It is the date when the news of emancipation finally reached Galveston, TX - the western most part of the US at the time.
We had the traditional pouring of the libation, candle lighting, harambee and, of course, dinner. A storyteller entertained the children. We adults played Kwanzaa 20 Questions. My husband complained that it was too challenging, but I think every one had a good time.
As always, close friends stayed late into the night engaged in social and political debate and nation building banter.
Kwanzaa 20 Questions instructions coming soon!