What Is the Kwanzaa Candle Holder Called?

As Christmas approaches, other holidays might not catch your attention but are equally important. One of them is Kwanzaa. This is a holiday marked right after Christmas from December 26th to January 1st

Kwanzaa has many interesting principles that have to be observed during the holiday period. The best part is how candles represent these principles. You need the right Kwanzaa candle holder to mark the holiday correctly. Let us see what the holiday is all about below. 

What Is the Candle Holder for Kwanzaa Called?

The Kwanzaa candle holder is called Kinara. It also symbolizes the stalk from which all African ancestors originated. It might have different designs, but it will always hold seven candles simultaneously. That is important to note. 

What Religion Is Kwanzaa?

Kwanza is more of a holiday rather than a religion. It is celebrated from December 26 up to January 1. 

The founder, Dr.Maulana Karenga, a professor at California State University, made Kwanzaa a way for African-Americans to focus more on their heritage and African values. Also, it helped provide an alternative to Christmas for some people. 

You might be wondering, why the seven days to celebrate Kwanzaa?

Dr. Karenga considered this duration after focusing on various African harvest festivals. He also looked at the cultural influences that would bring people together. The Black Nationalist ideology was still key to forming the seven Kwanzaa principles.

Since there are seven principles, each one has its day of celebration. It is why you would see people celebrating Kwanzaa for seven days. 

Once Kwanzaa gained traction, Dr. Karenga decided to make it not look like the Christmas replacement any more. It was now an addition to the fun activities that people of different faiths would participate in during those winter days.

It has been a holiday that many people embrace. This is in the sense that African-Americans struggled to find a cultural identity. So, seeing that they could take a few days a year to focus on their heritage meant a lot. Also, they could connect with others from different parts of the world. 

Of course, not all the ideas were welcomed by Christians. This is especially when Kwanzaa has no clear definition of spirituality. This would still rub off the Jews and other religions wrong, but Kwanzaa has largely been promoted as a holiday rather than a religion. 

Seven Principles of Kwanzaa 

As mentioned before, Kwanzaa is based on seven fundamental principles. The principles are celebrated individually during the holiday period. These principles include:

  • Umoja. This means unity. The idea is to join together as a community, family, and race.
  • Kujichagulia. It means self-determination, where you are responsible for your own’s future.
  • Ujima. It means responsibility and collective work through building the community with others. Also, it means solving any problems that might arise as a group.  
  • Ujamaa. It means cooperative economics. Thi is where the community builds and profits from the businesses created around it.
  • Nia. This means having a purpose. The community must work together to improve the African culture.
  • Kuumba. This means creativity through creating new ideas to make a successful and beautiful community.
  • Imani. It means faith by honoring African traditions, leaders, ancestors and celebrating African diversity. 

Where to Buy Kwanzaa Candle Holders

Candle holders should not be hard to buy. Most people simply get into a store close to them and get some. However, the Kwanzaa candle holders are different. You may find that they need more research to get them. Nothing to worry about, as we did half of the job for you. Below are where to buy Kwanzaa candle holders. 

Barlumba Unity Couple Kinara

Barlumba Unity Couple Kinara
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The candle holder is carved out of wood to ensure durability and still maintains a great feeling when using it. You can opt for either black or brown colors for the kinara. Still, it is available with or without the candles. It depends on your needs.

Kwanza Ceramic Candle Holder Set

Kwanza Ceramic Candle Holder Set
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Other than wood, you can also get the Kwanzaa candle holder made of ceramic material. The good thing about ceramic is how they can be finished in different looks and also durability. All you have to do is get the Kwanzaa candles, and you are good. It is also an affordable piece to make getting a candle holder for the tradition easier. 

Africa Unity Kwanzaa Kinara

Africa Unity Kwanzaa Kinara
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The best thing about such handmade Kinara celebration sets is how you can always find different designs. Like this one, it represents how Kwanzaa unites the whole of Africa. So, you never have to settle for boring design when artists create such unique candle holders. You will also like the quality of the wood used to make the candle holder.

Gye Nyame Pyramic Kwanzaa Kinara

Gye Nyame Pyramic Kwanzaa Kinara
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In case you are interested in celebrating Kwanzaa in style, you now have this candle holder as an option to consider. The name Gye Nyame means God’s presence all the time in our lives and his supremacy. So, you would be comfortable knowing that you are with God all the time, even during the Kwanzaa festival. 

Ankh Kwanzaa Kinara Celebration Set

Ankh Kwanzaa Kinara Celebration Set
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The Ankh symbol means the key of life and a representation of eternal life too in Ancient Egypt. Since Kwanzaa is about celebrating the different African cultures, it makes sense to have such symbols. The candle holder also ships with the unity cup to have everything you need to celebrate your holiday.

Kwanzaa Kinara Candle Holder

Kinara Kwanzaa Candle Holder
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Sometimes you just need something simple that works. That is what you will like with this full-sized kinara. It is hand-crafted to give off the true spirit of celebrating the African heritage. It is also among the most affordable candle holders for Kwanzaa.

Other Symbols of Kwanzaa

Kinara, or Kwanza candle holder, is just one of the many symbols of Kwanzaa. Below are the additional symbols you would come across when celebrating Kwanzaa. 

  • Mkeka – It is a mat made of straw but can still be made of paper or fabric. This is where all other symbols of Kwanza are placed on. In terms of representation, the mat is the foundation upon which African history and traditions are laid. 
  • Mazao – These are crops, vegetables, and fruits used during the holiday. They represent the harvest celebrations and honor the people’s labor to grow their harvests. 
  • Mishumaa – This means candles. They are seven in total, with each symbolizing the seven principles of Kwanza. The candles include three red, three green, and one black. 
  • Muhindi – This is corn that represents the African children and a promise of having a fruitful future. 
  • Kikombe cha Umoja – It is also called the unity cup. It is the first principle of Kwanzaa, showing unity and family representation among the African people. 
  • Zawadi – These are the gifts used to show parents’ labors and how these parents reward their children. These gifts can be used for educating and enriching the children. It can be a book or even an educational toy. 


Kwanzaa can be celebrated by anyone who feels they need to learn more about African culture. After learning about the festival’s principles and symbols, you are ready to go deeper into understanding and considering it. First, get yourself the right candle holder for the occasion, and you should be good. 

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