The black candle, placed right in the middle of red and green candles in Kinara, is lit on the very first day of the festival. It marks the commencement of the festive season. The person who takes the responsibility to light the candle makes a statement about the first principle i.e. Umoja (oo-MOH-jah) or unity. All the family members should listen to the statement and understand it in a way that all of them can explain the doctrine and its meaning. At times that particular member shares a passage or poem which is related to their lives and the principle in some way or the other.
The Umoja (Unity cup) filled with fruit juice is passed to all the members present in that congregating spot.
Some of the families use a Unity cup for every member present where as some just like to keep a Unity cup in the centre of the Kwanzaa table . After the ceremony of sharing fruit juice is over, the candles are turned off till the very next day.
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