Happy 2013

Garden RR 2012

I wish the festival of Kwanzaa had more of a visual presence. The weeklong holiday ends tomorrow. The name Kwanzaa is derived from the phrase matunda ya kwanza that means first fruits in Swahili, the most widely spoken African language.

Created in 1966 by Maulana Karenga, Kwanzaa was created to preserve, revitalize and promote African American culture that encourages participation in community through the seven principles of unity, self-determination, collective work and responsibility, cooperative economics, purpose, creativity and faith. Each night candles are lit, ears of corn representing each child in the family are placed on a traditional straw mat and the flag with three bars, red for the struggle for freedom, black for unity, and green for the future is displayed.

After Kwanzaa, you have until the end of February to travel back to 1893 watching the fabulous Garden Railroad display at Phipps. With live plants and an exquisitely model of Phipps Conservatory, it’s worth the cost of admission.

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