Kwanzaa is a newer holiday, started in 1966, that celebrates African culture and history. Kwanzaa is surrounded by tradition and incorporates a lot of symbolism. For instance, the number seven is repeated often within the holiday customs, starting with the seven principals. In the seven-day Kwanzaa celebration, there are also seven symbols, seven candles used to celebrate, and even seven letters in the name Kwanzaa.
Maggie Macnab, author of Decoding Design, says "Seven is the untouchable, mystical process...and has a feminine orientation: invisible, mysterious and linked to the unknowable."
Macnab explains how often seven turns up in everyday life. For example, our telephone numbers are seven digits long. There are seven ancient and modern wonders of the world. There are even seven continents, seas, and colors in a rainbow.
Seven is also an important symbol in many different religions. Perhaps this is why seven is believed to be known as the symbol for perfection and completion in both the physical and spiritual sense. Whether the founder of Kwanzaa, Maulana Karenga, incorporated the number on purpose or not, Kwanzaa is a truly remarkable holiday. Its culture, history, and community really make it special.