Habari gani?

Lighting a kinara candle on a table set with the symbols of Kwanzaa.

Lighting a kinara candle on a table set with the symbols of Kwanzaa.

Photo by Christopher Myers

Habari gani is the daily greeting used in the celebration of Kwanzaa. It is a Swahili phrase meaning “What’s the news?” and emphasizes the communal aspect of the holiday. Beginning later this week and continuing until the festival ends on January 1, a number of local community groups are holding Kwanzaa observances and special celebrations for Kwanzaa’s 40th anniversary.

On Tuesday, from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m., the Sanfoka Hall will host “An Umoja Celebration,” the first event of the seven-day festival, honoring the concept of unity. “An Umoja Celebration” is being sponsored by a handful of local organizations—including the Wo’Se Community Church, the Sacramento African Cultural Center, Ruben’s House of Soul Food and the Capital City Artists’ Collective. In addition to the holiday observances, the event will feature music, visual art, spoken word and soul food. Sanfoka Hall is located at 2251 Florin Road.

On Wednesday, the Black United Fund of Sacramento Valley, the Sacramento Area Black Caucus and the All-African People’s Revolutionary Party will host the second night of Kwanzaa festivities, honoring Kugichagulia or “self-determination.” The celebration will take place at the Jamieson Washington Collins Multipurpose Center, 2821 29th Avenue, from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Please bring a favorite dish to share.

More information about various other local Kwanzaa festivities can be found in the calendar section of the Wo’se Community Church’s Web site at www.wosesacramento.org.