Symbol Seven: Seven Candles/ Mishuuma Saba- “Seven Principles”
The Seven Candles represent the life-affirming values of the 7 Principles. Kwanzaa was created to introduce and reinforce these seven values. Each day of Kwanzaa one of the Seven Principles is highlighted and celebrated. Each candle represents one of the seven days and seven principles of Kwanzaa. There is one black candle and three red and green candles. The lighting of the candle is significant and meaningful. The candles are lit in a designated order. (See Kwanzaa DVD for a more detailed explanation).
Explanation: The Seven Principles of Kwanzaa seek to fashion the moral and social fabric of African Americans thereby creating the conditions and institutions, beginning with the family and for family restoration, personal excellence, and community well-being.
These seven interlocking values furnish African Americans with a much-needed values structure which to order their lives. Too, these principles give black people a shared identity, shared purpose, and shared ends and goals.
Kwanzaa Supplemental Symbols
Kwanzaa has two supplemental symbols- the Bendera and Nguzo Saba Poster. These Kwanzaa symbols are optional.
This Kwanzaa symbol represents the African American national flag, the black red and green.
Explanation: The color of the flag has significance and meaning: black is symbolic of black people, red is represents struggle or continuous effort and green is represents the future. The color scheme is instructive for African Americans: the future of black people is dependent on the effort or struggle they advance. Without struggle or effort, there will be no progress for African Americans
Optional Symbol: 7 Principle Poster/Nguzo Saba Poster- Life Affirming Values
This Kwanzaa symbol reinforces the 7 Principle of Kwanzaa.
Explanation: The 7 Principles are an instrument of cohesion and a factor ordering the commitment and priorities for black people. To be sure, these principles give priority to duties and obligations concerned with the common and good and the well-being of the family and community, and considers duty as the moral tone, as the supreme principle of morality.