Damballa Hwedo… Samhain…Halloween…Dia de los Muertos

SAMSUNG An extra special ancestral altar set up for Oct.31 to honour this family’s  immediate ancestors. The table was placed in their living room.

SAMSUNG A “Jack ‘O Lantern” (complete with an ankh carving in the centre) rests outside their home to keep away negative spirits and welcome positive ones. There are some food/candies and drink next to it.

SAMSUNG Same as the above. Just up close.

Fam, make no mistake about it  Samhain/Halloween/Dia de los Muertos are rooted in our ancestral traditions. Research “Damballa Hwedo” to learn more. Pure positive vibes! For those who are cool with that embrace it!  Ancestor parties, house2house (aka trick-or-treating) vibes..enjoy!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vA4fnzgbl4M      One family explains how they celebrate Samhain/Halloween

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nSBndgEYEM8      Part 2 of the above

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IMCk37NhSd4      Part 3 ” ” ”

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O93RxhlUf_8         Part 4 ” ” ”

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ReC-FzhPib4          Part 5 ” ” ”

IMPORTANT: Never lose the true significance. Dress up & have FUN with your fam! Costumes of ancestors (human & non-human) are the order of the day. Let your imagination flow! Sebek/Elegba reigns (in a BIG way) on/around Oct.31.

more on building family traditions

Many of us don’t connect with many a mainstream holiday. Nuff said. I’ll tell you something though. There’s no sense complaining every time they come around. Let’s face it lots of Afrikan-centred folks do just that and it creates a negative vibe in our homes. Time to let it go don’t you think? How about being more pro-active by creating vibrant traditions/holidays that actually resonate with us?  It’s key that we each create a cultural calendar for our families. We have lots of options from Garvey Day to Kwanzaa, Ancestors’ Day, the solstices/equinoxes, Yoruba/Kemetic/Ethiopian New Year’s and more. Create your own holidays if you like. Celebrating communally is often ideal. You can start small and then keep building every year. Within a few years you should have a rhythm going. It can take awhile though so just keep at it. Remember these are traditions we want our great-grands to be raised with. So… let’s put some thought into developing them. Whatever we do let’s not get in the habit of bringing our families together to have the same ol’ same ol’ heavy conversations. It just ain’t the time folks. CELEBRATE. Truly. HAVE FUN. Fully. Think: food, games, memories, decorations, gifts, music. We don’t have to spend a ton of cash. Not at all. Keep it frugal by reusing as much as you can.




We can do this & do it well! Make it a priority folks. 4 real.

 P.S. – Take photos. Create an album.

Kwanzaa preparation

Folks, before we know it Kwanzaa will be here. Now’s the time to start thinking about this year’s celebrations. Food, decorations, gifts, games, special activities. Is there anything that you need to stock up on like candles? It’s best to start planning early. That way come December it’ll be smooth sailing.
P.S.  – If you’re in need of black candles now’s the time to get them. You should be able to find them pretty easily since Halloween is right around the corner.

Building Family Traditions cont’d

Folks, building/maintaining family traditions is absolutely critical.  Let’s face it, many of us don’t spend enough time on this (especially if we’ve moved away from the traditions we were raised with).  It definitely impacts our families. How about being more intentional? Trust me we’d all benefit. What holidays really speak to your family? We don’t have to spend lots of money to celebrate. Not at all. In order for things to run smoothly planning is necessary though. Consider the basics and then let things flow.  Think: meaningful, fun, light-hearted.  Consider decorations, foods, games, gifts.  FUN!!!! Remember we want to ensure that everyone looks forward to our special days. Earthdays, Kwanzaa, solstices/equinoxes, Garvey Day, Ancestors’ Day, New Year’s… 




* Although some of the above links refer to Christmas the tips can be used for other holidays/traditions.

Building family traditions



To honour old traditions while creating new ones recognizing that our family units change over time due to inter-faith/inter-cultural relationships, personal shifts and more. Some traditions are kept within our own homes while others we’ve abandoned yet still acknowledge/honour in some way.

Leave your shoes at the main entrance of your home. This stands as a reminder that your home is a sacred space.

Create a family mission statement. Frame/hang it in a prominent place in your home. Do the same for your guiding principles like the Nguzo Saba, Ten Commandments, principles of Ma’at, African pledge, Native Commandments etc.

Place the Afrikan Solidarity Pledge on your fridge, by the main entrance or in your children’s rooms:

We have been called.

We have answered.

We know how to fight.

We do not know surrender.

We only know victory.

Fly the Afrikan Liberation flag in your home at all times. Place it in a prominent location.

Poems (for children’s rooms): I am a Black Child, I am an African Child

Poem (for fridge or by the main entrance): The Pride to be an African – Fasan Paul

Use our see-ers/readers/healers as needed.

Clear your home, car (sacred healing) regularly. Use sage etc.

Have the sacred books of the world’s faiths on your bookshelf. Use them as you see fit. All have some wisdom to share.

Have a scrapboook for each person in your family. Record all their special moments in it ie. photos, certificates etc. Consider having a family photo album as well.

Consider setting up a small family altar with a special cloth, Afrikan liberation/Indigenous people’s flag, fresh flowers, candles, incense, photos of family ancestors and the planet’s elements (rocks/dirt, water…). For the tablecloth you may want to use a piece of (African) cloth/material that’s been handed down in your family. Don’t hesitate to use it for your family prayer/meditation time ie. before you start each day.

Tune into Democracy Now, LibRadio, Media Roots or other similar programmes with your children. Do so a few times a week. Discuss the issues critically.

Get involved with community service projects/initiatives whenever you can. Do so as a family.

Sleep in the park every 2-3 years with your teenagers. Stay overnight. Invite extended family & friends. Check out http://www.sleepinthepark.blogspot.com. In doing so you will help raise awareness about homelessness. No electronics, phones, blankets, pillows are allowed.

At least once a year have your children give you feedback on your parenting. Get them to write their thoughts down. Discuss at your next family meeting.

Have a monthly family meeting. You may want to plan them around the new moon. These are times to plan, voice concerns, rectify issues and more. Duration: 45-60 minutes. Include children who are 7 or older.

Read a different proverb/fact a few times a week. Consider having a special box with some inside (on small slips of paper). Read one (include your children as they get older) to your family in the morning or at dinnertime. Place it on your fridge for the rest of the day. Repeat the process each day. Reuse all proverbs/facts.




Who Am I?

Fun family activity to play anytime. In a box have slips of paper listing 5-6 details of the lives of s/heroes. On the back of each sheet name the person described. Take turns picking a name. Read aloud the details of each person. Alternatively act out aspects of each person’s life. Everyone else takes turns guessing who you are.

Mama Blessings & Naming ceremonies/parties (refer to Holistic Pregnancy/Childrearing document)

– Plan these for each pregnancy/family addition (birth or adoption).

– Include family/friends. Give them a brief synopsis of what the ritual will entail in advance.



– Pride & Joy – J.Robinson

– Welcome Dede! – I.Onyefulu

– Welcoming Spirit Home – S. Some’



If you’re a spiritual (non-religious)/agnostic family create a short prayer with/for your child(ren) for meal time. Parents may want to say the same prayer or something slightly different. Closing your eyes is a personal/family choice. For prayers (when visiting friends/family) that don’t resonate with you simply show respect by being quiet and remaining still. For gatherings with friends/family of different faiths/no faith have a moment of silence OR do nothing at all. This way people can pray on their own (if they pray at all) in whatever manner they choose. If you don’t pray consider having each family member state something they’re grateful for.


– Simple Graces for Every Meal – I.Goff-Maidoff

http://entertaining.about.com/u/ua/etiquetteforentertaining/mealtimebless ings.htm


– Try to eat at least one meal together daily. Sit on the floor on occasion. Include feeding one another sometimes (think: Somalia, Ethiopia, Eritrea…).

– Have 1-2 empty chairs/place settings for your ancestors.

Fast Day

– Once or twice a week the parent(s) can do a water/fruit fast.

Weekends tend to work well for this.

Include your children as they get older.

Give each child an allowance (starting at age 5 or so). Increase the amount slightly every 1-2 years. Teach your children about the importance of saving.

Family Day/Night

– Once a week/month. Do whatever you want as a family. ie. Play games, make/watch movies, go out for a meal, have fun at a communty event, have a camping trip etc. As your children get older they may want to invite friends. Try to minimize disruptions ie. phone calls, computer time.



Tooth losing rituals (instead of following the tooth fairy tradition)

– Think about creating your own tooth losing tradition.

– Take a photo of your child and put it in their scrapbook.

– Put children’s teeth in a special container in a secure place. You can also put them in your child’s scrapbook.





http://www.sewcutebyme.com/item_78/Tooth-Fairy-Pillow–Dragonfly- Sparkles.htm



– Read books to your children about tooth losing traditions from around the world.

– Throw Your Tooth on the Roof – S. Beeler

– I Lost My Tooth in Africa – P.Diakite

– Dave & the Tooth Fairy – V.Wilkins

“I Am” mantras: Shout them regularly with your child.

Compost and/or give your vegetable & fruit scraps back to the earth.

Dig a hole for them or throw them in some trees on a regular. Include your children and explain why the ritual is done. This is a way to simply give back to the earth.

Recycle water from handwashing (clothes & dishes)/showers/baths by using it to water your plants.


– For the earthdays of significant family ancestors /freedom fighters light a candle (on family altar). Give thanks for the life of each one.

– Have an earthday party for a family ancestor annually (or every few years). Post a photo of them on your family altar that day. You can choose a different ancestor each year if you like. Invite extended family. Include your ancestor’s favourite foods, music and so on. You may want to include an earthday cake in their honour. Celebrate!

For family (those who are living) earthdays try to do exactly what the “earthday person” wants.

– Encourage activities with friends/family -vs- things as gifts. Physical presents aren’t necessary. If something is needed or wanted try to be accommodating. Minimize the focus on things.

– Chant the earthday person’s name to them. You can form a circle around them to do this.

– Every 7th year consider having a special party especially for your child (ren).

ie. 7, 14, 21, 28, 35 …years old.

Family Vacations

– Plan an annual vacation/staycation. Include your children in the planning process. Consider checking out retreats/festivals like:


http://www.chwmuseum.org (African World Festival)








































http://www.ankobea.org (Sankofa conference)

http://www.ethiopianheritagesociety.org (Ethiopian Heritage Festival)

All Ethiopian Games

All Africa Games

Carifta Games

CAC Games

African Nations Cup

When you travel contribute goods/services to the local community ie. give school supplies to some students, volunteer at a soup kitchen, buy groceries for an elderly person etc.

Slow Travel & Tourism – J.Dickinson

Independence Days

– Light a candle on Central/South American, Caribbean, African independence days. For countries that have personal relevance

consider having a special meal (with national dishes) or attending a relevent event. You may also like to fly that country’s flag in your home. Consider collecting a small flag for every country. You can rest the respective flag on your altar/dinner table on its independence day. On occasion you may want to visit a restaurant of the “country of honour”

and enjoy an independence feast there.

MLK/Malcolm X’s Earthday

Talk about who these men truly were.

– Have a family meal with family/friends. Feel free to include an earthday cake for MLK/Malcolm X.

– Watch films on MLK/Malcolm X. Play some of their speeches in the background.

– Go to a MLK/Malcolm X parade or church service. Visit a monument.

– Play relevant music ie. Malcolm X (Dennis Brown).

– Read stories about MLK/Malcolm X.

My Brother Martin – C.Farris

Martin’s Big Words – D.Rappaport

Malcolm X: A Fire Burning Brightly – W.Myers

Malcolm X – A.Adoff

– Share some of their writings.

– Play board/card games/puzzles.

– MLK/Malcolm X colouring pages (young children)

Black Love Day (Feb.13)/Valentine’s Day

– Decorate your home in purple (spirituality)/black (us) and/or wear these colours.

Bake heart-shaped cookies/cake or other goodies. Have a “heart chakra” (foods that are good for our hearts) meal.

– Have a potluck with friends and family OR go out for a meal.

– Post (black) love affirmations on your fridge and/or send a few to friends/family.


Adwa Day (Mar.2)

– Consider doing a water fast until sunset.

– Make a wreath out of local flowers (in remembrance of those who fought in the Battle at Adwa/all Afrikans who passed away in wars with colonizers). Feel free to put it on your family altar or in another prominent place. Have a feast to celebrate our many victories. Wear a colour (different one each year) that speaks to the energy required to be victorious in such wars.

Watch “Adwa.”

International Women’s Day (Mar.8)

Support a local IWD initiative/event. Give thanks for all the women in your life. Have a all-female sleepover with all your favourite movies, food, games. Head out to dinner or lunch with your favourite female friends/relatives.

– Commit to a cause that is focused on empowering women.


Spring Equinox (Baha’i/Yoruba New Year)

– Declutter your home, work spaces and vehicles. Change curtains/linen in your home. You may want to use colours that reflect spring. Cleanse spaces by burning sage.

– Exchange a few gifts with your immediate family ie. outdoor toys/games, inspirational dvds/books etc.

– Wear white or spring colours.

– Do some healing art work ie. tai chi/qigong, yoga meditation.

– Fast beforehand and/or have a New Year’s/Spring party at home or at a park. Invite family and friends.

Welcome spring. Focus on your goals for the season as well as the upcoming year. Write them down in a special place. Pour libation (preferably outside) for significant/family ancestors born in the spring.

– Organize a treasure hunt with a spring time theme. Make different types of kites. Fly them.

Play marbles, hopscotch, jacks, jump rope (including Chinese), cat’s cradle.

Have spring food and herbs. Include a cake that has butterflies, birds or flowers on it OR a homemade pie made from fresh, local fruit.

– Go for a walk. Pick flowers and place them in vases for your home. See how many birds you can spot ie. longtails, bluebirds.

– Spring colouring pages (young children).

– Put a bird bath and/or bird box in your yard.

– Plant something.

– Read children’s books about spring (& the ways that different people celebrate it worldwide).

– Colour some mandalas. Mandala books of all kinds are on the market.


– Have some cards/games/puzzles/go-karts handy.


Spring colouring pages (children).

– Talk about/read children’s books about the history of Easter & the different ways that people celebrate Easter globally.

– Take spring foods to your family gathering.


http://party.lovetoknow.com/Non_Religious_Easter_Celebration http://www.infostarbase.com/holidays/easter/easter2.php

Have a treasure hunt (instead of an easter egg hunt).

– Fast for a month leading up to Easter. ie. sunrise to sunset.

– Head to an Ethiopian/Eritrean Orthodox (or Coptic) Easter service and feast afterwards. Educate yourselves before you attend the service.

– Play marbles. Make kites and fly them.

Mother’s Day

– Honour the mamas/grandmas/godmas (ancestral and living) in your family. Do something special with/for the ones who are living. Post photos of your ancestral mamas on your family altar. Consider giving gifts with meaning ie. experiences rather than things.



Afrikan Liberation Day (May 25)



– Wear white in honour of our ancestors.

– You may want to do some drumming/chanting for our freedom fighters.

– Share poetry, readings. Play relevant music & discuss our liberation stories.

– Have a special meal with friends/family. Include Afrikan/Diaspora foods.

Children’s Day – Nigeria (May 27)

Treat your children to something special.

International Day of the African Child (June 16)

– Have a party for your children and their friends. Collect donations (or clothes/school supplies) from each child. Send the $$/goods to a cause that benefits Afrikan children somewhere in the world.

Father’s Day

– Honour the fathers/grandpas/godpas (ancestral and living) in your family. Do something special with/for the ones who are living. Post photos of your ancestral fathers on your family altar. Consider giving gifts with meaning ie. experiences rather than things.



Juneteenth (June 19)



– Read children’s books about Juneteenth.

– Have a special meal with family/friends ie. BBQ. You may want to include some soul food dishes.

– Have some cards/games/puzzles handy.

– Educate yourselves on the history of Juneteenth.

– Juneteenth Jamboree – C.Weatherford

– Juneteeth – M. Schroder

Summer Solstice (Kemetic New Year)

– Declutter your home, vehicles and work spaces. Change linen/curtains in your home. You may want to use colours that reflect summer. Burn sage to cleanse spaces.

– Wear white or summer colours.

– Consider fasting beforehand.

– Catch up on sleep.

– Do some healing art work ie. tai chi/qigong, yoga, meditation.

– Think about your summer goals. Write them down in a special place.

– Pour libation (preferably outside) for significant/family ancestors born in summer.

– Read children’s books about summer.

– Have a special meal with friends/ family. Serve summer foods and cooling herbs ie. salads. Have a BBQ with fruit salad.

– Have a beach gathering (a.k.a. “picnic”) with family and friends. Go swimming!

– Have some cards/games/puzzles handy.

– Summer colouring pages (young children).


– Colour some mandalas. Mandala books of all kinds are on the market.

“Emancipation” Day

– Pour libation at gravesites of enslaved Afrikans. Leave some flowers. Have special prayer at meal time. Invite some friends over to acknowledge the day. Wear white (optional).

– Have an ancestor remembrance celebration (preferably near the ocean).

– Play songs like Takana Zion’s “Stolen My Family.”

Marcus Garvey/Menelik’s Earthday (Aug.17)

– Light a candle for Garvey/Menelk. Play relevant music ie. Culture’s “Mighty Race” & Burning Spear’s “Marcus Garvey.” Search for others. – Play some of Garvey’s speeches.

– Have a special meal with friends and family. Consider including a decorated earthday cake with the Afrikan liberation flag. Make red, black & green popsicles.

– Share some readings about Garvey/Menelik.

– Watch a film on Garvey/Menelik.

– Read a few children’s books about Garvey/Menelik.

Marcus Garvey – S.Francis-Brown

A Man Called Garvey – P.Mohamed

– Marcus Garvey colouring pages (young children)

Ethiopian New Year’s (Sept.11 or 12)

– Have a party with Ethiopian food & music. Include Ethiopian beverages and breads. Invite family and friends.

Send out New Year’s cards to other celebrants.

Fall Equinox

– Declutter your home, vehicles and work spaces. Change linen/curtains in your home. You may want to use colours that reflect fall. Burn sage to cleanse spaces.

– Wear white or fall colours.

– Do some healing art work ie. tai chi/qigong, yoga, meditation.

– Consider fasting beforehand.

– Think about your fall goals & write them down in a special place.

– Pour libation (preferably outside) for significant/family ancestors born in fall.

– Read children’s books about fall.

– Have a special meal with fall foods and herbs ie.apple cider. Invite family/friends.

– Have some card/games/puzzles handy.

– Fall colouring pages (young children).

– Colour mandalas. Mandala books of all kinds are on the market.

Indigenous People’s Day/Afrikan Holocaust Day (a.k.a. Columbus Day)

– Educate yourselves on the history of Columbus Day/Indig.People’s Day/Afrikan Holocaust Day.





– Reflect on how indigenous people resisted colonialism.

– Read stories/talk about who Columbus really was. Check out indigenous people’s stories (from around the world).

– Prepare a meal of indigenous food from all over the planet. Take a dish to your family gathering.

– Head to an Afrikan Holocaust/Indigenous People’s Day event.

– Have some cards/games/puzzles handy.

– Go on a mini-vacation to visit friends/family OR head somewhere new.

Samhain/Halloween/Day of the Dead (some rename it “Ancestors’ Day”)

– Educate yourselves on the history of Halloween/Day of the Dead.

– Watch “Day of the Dead.”

– Fall colouring pages (young children).

– Put flowers/produce (for your ancestors) on your family altar. Bury them outside the day after.

– Play music honouring our ancestors. ie. African Spirit (Nasio F.), Shaka Zulu Pickney (T. Riley), Times Like These (Q. Ifrica).

– Have an Afrikan masquerade/RBG costume party. Everyone is invited to dress up as family ancestors, s/heroes, plants, animals, favourite characters like Anansi, Doc McStuffin or Kirikou. Get costumes from thrift stores and/or your own closet. Swap costumes with friends or relatives. Play a few board/card games, hide & seek etc. Read stories ie. Anansi & others.Treats like Anansi cupcakes/cookies may go over well. Give out healthy treats like granola bars, crackers, balloons, popcorn, raisins, pretzels, juice boxes, temporary tattoos, applesauce, agave/honey sticks, rice crispy treats, to “trick-or-treaters.” Handing out motivational stickers/pencils may work too. Give 1-2 pieces of candy to the children at the party. Stay up a little later than usual.

– If your children goes trick-or-treating send a few treats with them. They’ll enjoy these while they’re making their rounds. If they receive unacceptable treats consider exchanging them for ones you’re comfortable with. For every unacceptable treat give them one you’re fine with (when they return home). Give away the unwanted treats.

– With each treat include an inspirational quote from one of our ancestors. You can do this for “trick-or-treaters” you meet and party attendees.

– Read stories about Halloween/Day of the Dead/great ancestors.

Clatter Bash! A Day of the Dead – R.Keep

Day of the Dead – A.Doering

I Remember Abuelito – J.Levy

http://www.organicindia.com Organic herbal gulal for bodypainting.

http://www.lunaorganics.com Face painting.



http://www.kidglue.com/2009/10/29/Celebrating-halloween-in-school-not- okay-with-this-mother/






http://www.bangkokpost.com/news/world/158681/americans-embrace- alternatives-to-pagan-halloween




– fun.families.com/blog/throw-a-harvest-party


– Have a party/sleepover for some of your child’s friends.

– Consider taking your children to a harvest festival/celebration in your area.

– Head to a Day of the Dead ceremony.

Veterans Day/Remembrance Day (Nov.11)

– Use it to remember our ancestors. Have a special meal (with ancestors’ favourites) with friends & family. Refer to the Halloween/Day of the Dead section for ideas ie. dressing up, music. Make a collage of ancestors/wall of fame. Consider placing it by your family’s altar. Put flowers/produce (for your ancestors) on your altar. Bury them outside the day after.

– Plant a tree in recognition of an ancestor or two.

– Go on a mini-vacation to visit friends/family OR head somewhere new.

Thanksgiving/Day of Mourning

– Educate yourselves on the history of Thanksgiving/Day of Mourning.

– Fast (at least until your family gathering).




– Give thanks for North America’s indigenous people. Read stories about them & reflect on their experiences. Go to a pow wow. http://www.thespike.com

– Prepare a special meal of Native American/First Nations’ (Canada) food and/or take one dish to your family gathering.

– Have some card/games/puzzles handy.

– Head to an Anti-Thanksgiving (or Anti-Colonial Thanksgiving) event.

– Go to a Native American/First Nations’ festival ie. http://www.canab.com

– Go on a mini-vacation to visit friends/family OR head somewhere new.

Winter Solstice

– Declutter your home, vehicles and work spaces. Change the linen/curtains in your home. You may want to use colours that reflect winter. Burn sage to cleanse spaces.

– Wear white and winter colours.

– Do some healing art work ie. tai chi/qigong, yoga, meditation.

– Seriously consider fasting especially if you participate in/celebrate Xmas and/or Kwanzaa.

– Read children’s books on winter.

– Focus on your goals. Write them down in a special place.

– Pour libation (preferably outside) for significant/family ancestors born in winter.

– Prepare winter foods and warming herbs/spices like soups, stews.

– Go for a drive and check out all the pretty lights on homes, office buildings etc.

– Take it easy. Relax, relax, relax. At the very least slow down.

– Catch up on sleep. Go to sleep earlier than usual if possible.

– Consider exchanging a few small gifts.

– Winter colouring pages (young children).

– Colour mandalas. Mandala books of all kinds are on the market.

– Play cards/board games/puzzles.

– Head to a tree lighting ceremony and/or have a tree lighting party in your home. Invite some friends & family.


– Take a winter dish to your family gathering or

consider going after gifts have been given (if the heightened consumerism is something you’d like to avoid). If your family gives you/your children gifts consider collecting/ unwrapping them in your own time (at home). Decide how/when you’ll give the gifts to your children. Try to be consistent.

– Winter colouring pages (children).

– Read books about the history of Xmas & the different ways that people celebrate Xmas globally. Check out some Ethiopian/Eritrean Christmas books.

– Set up an Ethiopian/Eritrean nativity scene in your living room.

– Head to an Ethiopian/Eritrean Orthodox (or Coptic) Christmas service. Educate yourselves before you attend. Celebrate after with a meal.



http://planetgreen.discovery.com/work-connect/things-to-do-on- Christmas-for.html




Google: Local Non-Christian families create new traditions

– This is My Christmas Prayer – BeBe Winans


– Send out Kwanzaa cards to other celebrants.


– Set up your Kwanzaa table.

– Light the candles and state the respective principle each day.

– Consider making special RBG (use sprinkles) or gingerbread wo/man

cookies prior to Kwanzaa. Consider purchasing adinkra or Africa- shaped cookie cutters. Enjoy on Kwanzaa Eve and/or throughout Kwanzaa. http://www.ethnicedibles.com & http://www.cheapcookiecutters.com

– Have your family honour each day’s principle with a relevant activity.

– Consider celebrating with 4 or 5 other families. Move between homes.

– Exchange cultural gifts like books, art, games, tickets to events, dvds.

– Organize a Kwanzaa treasure hunt. Focus on any element(s) of our global story.

– Invite family and/or friends over for a movie/games night. That way they can get a sense of what Kwanzaa is all about.

– Include Afrikan/Diaspora foods in your meals. Try to make an extra special meal once or twice during Kwanzaa.


Eid-Ul-Fitr (end of Ramadan)

– Prepare Eid foods for your family’s gathering.

– Take handmade cards or send some in advance.

– If there is a gift exchange find out what’s suitable or choose from http://www.theeid.com/eid-ul-fitr-gifts.















Baha’i/African Hebrew Israelite/Buddhist Holidays

– Take relevent food/gifts.

– Wear appropriate clothes.

– Make handmade/e-cards.

– If there is a gift exchange get a sense of what is suitable.




Family Reunions

– Consider planning a big one every 3-5 years. Consider 5-7 day cruises,

4 day hotel events etc.

– Annual reunions can include camping trips, BBQs/beach days, night cruises.

– Form a small committee. Have children/teens assist with planning in some way.







http://www.geni.com Update your family tree regularly.

– How to Plan Your African American Family Reunion – K.Williams

– For Every Season: The Complete Guide to African-American Celebrations, Traditional to Contemporary – B.Eklof

http://www.ayaed.com Annual Family Reunion

– Play songs like “Family Reunion” by Jill Scott & The O’Jays or “Everyday (Family Reunion)” by Chaka Khan.

Naming ceremonies

– Welcome your child(ren) to the world in the way you see fit.

– New Arrivals: Guide to Non-Religious Naming Ceremonies – J.Willson

“Alternatives” to Sunday School (for children)

http://www.livingvalues.net Find classes in your area or create your own. The classes focus on shaping your child’s character.

http://www.virtueoftheweek.org Search for these through your local Baha’i National Assembly. They focus on the world’s “main” religions, hence, they have an inter-faith base.

– Play games from http://www.interfaithresources.com & http://www.cooperativegames.com.

Coming-of-Age Celebrations (refer to separate document on this)

– Plan these with your child. There are lots of contemporary ideas to choose from.

– 105 Ways to Celebrate Menstruation – K.McBride

– Honoring Menstruation – L.Owen

Moon Time (refer to Coming-of-Age document)

– Try to ensure that all menstruating females in your family get their share of relaxation/quiet/alone time (and proper foods & herbs) when their menses is on. Every female’s needs are different. Honour that.






Full Moon

– Release whatever you need to via prayer, meditation to ie. unwanted thoughts, “baggage” etc.

– Moonbathe/sleep outside. Camping!

– Go for a moon walk.

New Moon

– Plan for upcoming month.

– Have monthly family meeting.

– Ask for current desires via prayer, meditation etc.

– Moonbathe/sleep outside. Camping!

– Go for a moon walk.

Rites-of-Passage Programmes (refer to ROP document)

– Plan these with/for your 14-18 yr old. There are lots of contemporary ideas to choose from.

Weddings/Vow Renewals (refer to Commitment Ceremonies’ document)


– Celebrate them in whatever way you see fit. Every few years consider doing something special ie. travelling, renewing vows etc. Consider having friends/family celebrate with you.


-Celebrate menopause/elderhood in an empowering way.









– Moon Rites – M.Royce

– New Menopausal Years – S.Weed

– Women’s Rites – M.Royce

– Journey Through Menopause – C.Downing


Wear white or African attire to funerals.

If planning funerals find an officiant who honours your requests whether they be secular, non-religious etc.
















The Perfect Stranger’s Guide to Funerals & Grieving Practices: A Guide to Etiquette in Other People’s Religious Ceremonies – S.Matlins

NOTES: 1) Remember to take photos of your celebrations. Archive them in some way.

2) If you are particular about what types of gifts you/your children receive consider having a running “wish list” handy for your family/friends. Include needs and wants. Focus on your needs.

3) Gift Wrapping: Save/reuse wrapping paper and gift bags. Use old newspaper (decorate it with glitter, paint, stickers) to wrap gifts. Make/get gift bags. Wash and reuse them. You can also refrain from wrapping gifts.



20 Primary Universal Laws

http://www.interfaithcalendar.org Considering making cards/sending e-cards to your friends/family members on their special days.

















http://www.cheapcookiecutters.com (Africa-shaped ones)










http://www.serenityhealingarts.com Music/devotionals by Ivy Hylton













http://www.organicindia.com Organic herbal gulal for bodypainting






































http://www.virtuesproject.com (Virtues cards)






Multicultural Games – L.Barbarash

Sacred Moments – L.Popov

Simple Graces for Every Meal – I.Goff-Maidoff

In the Beginning: Creation Myths from Around the World – C.North

Kids Around the World Play! – A.Braman

Play With Us – O.Ripoll

International Games – G. Horowitz

Multicultural Game Book – L.Orlando

Hands Around the World – S.Milord

The Joy of Family Rituals – B.Biziou

E is for Ethics: How to Talk to Kids about Morals, Values, and What Matters Most – I.Corlett

Children Just Like Me: Celebrations! – A.Kinderstay

How Butterbees Came to Bee! -T.Bloch

Kids Around the World Create! – A.Braman

Celebrate! An Anti-Bias Guide to Enjoying Holidays in Early Childhood Programs – J.Bisson

Healing Across Dimensions – J.Spooner

The Book of New Family Traditions – M.Cox

Tolerance 101 – S.Koehler

Teaching Tolerance – S.Bullard

The Book of Wellness: A Secular Approach to Spirit, Meaning and Purpose – D. Ardell

Spiritual Revolution: Why Religion is Giving Way to Spirituality – P.Heelas

Meditations for the Humanist: Ethics for a Secular Age – A.C.Grayling

Character Building Day by Day – A.Mather

Raising Children Who Think for Themselves – E.Medhus

Raising Everyday Heroes: Parenting Children to be Self-Reliant – ” ”

Peaceful Parents, Peaceful Kids – N.Drew

20 Teachable Virtues – J.Wyckoff

Knowing and Doing What’s Right – P.Espeland

40 Ways to Raise a Non-Racist Child – B.Mathias

Everyday Acts Against Racism – M.Reddy

Hate Hurts – C.Stern-LaRosa

Funerals Without God – J.Willson

Sharing the Future: A Practical Guide to Non-Religious Wedding Ceremonies – J.Willson

10 Principles of Spiritual Parenting – M.Doe

Seasonal Living – A.Beattie

The Family Virtues Guide – L.Popov

Rituals for Our Times – E.Imber-Black

Black Family Rituals – E.Sims Jr.

Earth Bound – B.Nelson

In Nature’s Honor – P.Montley

If You Had to Choose: What Would You Do? – S. Humphrey

The Language of Gifts – D.Washington

Coming Home: A Seasonal Guide to Creating Family Traditions – R.Bowles

Maybe Right, Maybe Wrong: A Guide for Young Thinkers – D.Barker

Maybe Yes, Maybe No: A Guide for Young Skeptics – D.Barker

Help Me Be Good Series – J.Berry

Building Moral Intelligence – M.Borba

African People and European Holidays: A Mental Genocide (Vol.1 & 2) – I.Barashango

A Plentiful Harvest – T.Williams

Rocks of Ages – Ras Ben

The Kids’ Book of Questions: Revised for the New Century – G.Stock

The War for Children’s Minds – S.Law

Parenting WIthout God – J.Willson

In the Beginning- Creation Stories from Around the World – V.Hamilton

In the Beginning- Creation Myths from Around the World – C.North

Humanism – What’s That? A Book for Curious Kids – H.Bennett

Exploring World Religions with Junior High Youth – C.Reed

African American Humanism: An Anthology – N.Allen Jr.

Coming Together: Celebrations for African-American Families – H.Cole

The Joy of Family Traditions – J.Thompson

New Traditions – S.Lieberman

Together Creating Family Traditions – R.Davis & J.Oakes

Come As You Aren’t: Feeling at Home with Multicultural Celebrations – N. Dresser

New Year’s to Kwanzaa: Original Stories of Celebration – K.Haven

How to Plan Your African American Family Reunion – K. Williams

Living Simply with Children – M.Sherlock

Martial arts

Folks, many of you may be aware of Atlanta’s Afrikan Martial Arts Institute. I don’t know if you’re in on http://www.tamerrian.com/ (Detroit) though.
Tayari Casel Martial Arts Academy (Silver springs, MD) may be of interest too. Google them for details. Youtube has lots of  clips too.
Here’s a great book/dvd you may want to check out:
P.S.- For those of you in Toronto check out http://iamcourage.webs.com.

Mark Your Calendars: Afrikan-Centred Education & Wellness Cruise 2013

 Abibifahodie at Sea!
The Liberated Minds 
Black Homeschool and Education Association & Roots to Fruits
are excited to announce 
an Afrikan Family Gathering at Sea of Homeschoolers, Educators, Healers, and True Warrior Scholars!
Bring the whole family
Join us for Our
 Afrikan-Centered Education, Homeschooling,
 and Wellness Family Cruise!
on the
Royal Caribbean 
Enchantment of the Seas
Nassau & Cococay, Bahamas
Departing from Port Canaveral, (Orlando)FL
featuring our Sacred Community Warriors:
Queen Afua, Mwalimu & Ena Yaa Baruti, Dick Gregory, Baba “Yoga” Bey, Tim Merriweather and more.
Bring the whole family for some ocean fun & relaxation! 
Here are just a few highlights:
African-Centered Education Workshop by Mwalimu Baruti, Afrikan Scholar, Educator, Author

Wholistic Health & Wellness Presentation by the World-Renowned Healer, Author,& Speaker
Queen Afua
Lecture by Dick Gregory, Vegetarian Pioneer, Civil Rights Activist, Comedian
Baba”Yoga” Bey, Elder, Healer, Afrikan Drummer, Yoga & Tai Chi Instructor
Acupuncture Workshop by 
the International Tim Merriweather
Afrikan Ourstory Tour of Nassau, Bahamas
Honoring of Our Ancestors with a Collective Sacred Tribute in the ocean & on the Beach
(wear white)
Fall Equinox Prosperity Blessing on Beach
Saturday Spend the 12 hours on the Island of Nassau
Sunday Spend the Day on CocoCay
All You Can Eat Food including Room Service
Childcare and children’s activities 
available on ship * Read details
And More!
Vegan & Vegetarian Options also available!
Don’t Miss the Boat!
Get your deposit in now!
Only $575 per person
If you make the first $100 deposit by November 5th, monthly payments as low as $58pp
For Bookings, 
Call Alishah @888-636-5222
Let her know you are interested in the Liberated Minds Afrikan-Centered Education & Wellness Cruise!
She will take great care of you!
For any further details, email liberatedmindseducation@yahoo.com or call Queen Taese at 678.368.8593
See you there!
Run for the Fun!
Great things to do in the Bahamas!
-Relax on the beach
-Sev Yoga Retreat
-Island Fish Fry *veggie options
-Afrikan Heritage Tour: The Door of No    Return, Memorials, Ft. Fincastle
-Beach BBQ (Vegetarian options)
-Glass Bottom Boat Ride
 and much more!
*Various activities may require additional fees
          Lifetime Family Memories!

         Celebrate Afrikan Culture!

  Sacred Moments with our Watoto!
Divine Peace, Tranquility, and Enlightenment!
         Strong Asafo Empowerment!
   Simple Relaxation!
Hotep Family!    

I am so excited and overwhelmed at the amazing response to this cruise. I can’t wait to kick back and get in a little relaxation and fun with all of you! I have been craving the beach! I am working on a study plan for all of you and your children reflecting our Afrikan story in the Bahamas. Let’s research and build on the work of our ancestors on these islands to make for a richer experience. Also, I am encouraging parents, as we are doing with our own youth, to allow this to be an entrepreneurial victory for your child(ren). Set a goal and assist them in raising their own money for this wonderful experience. The reward is priceless. Feel free to reach out to me for suggestions at liberatedmindseducation@yahoo.com. Make sure you are on our email list for future cruise updates and new community happenings! Peace, love, and blessings to you and your families! Hotep!
See you at the beach,
Queen Taese

Learn More…                       Liberated Minds 
                                          Black Homeschool 
                                   and Education Association 
                                              Learn More… 
Click above to learn more 



Dangers of princess culture

Truth is princess culture hurts our girls (& boys for that matter) in ALOT of ways. Mamas & babas, aunts & auncles, godparents… let’s be mindful of this.  Let’s try and look at this through our own cultural lenses.

http://www.forbes.com/sites/learnvest/2012/06/28/7-ways-youre-hurting-your-daughters-future/     7 ways you’re hurting your daughter’s future

Ways to indulge your daughter’s princes obsession while still raising a little feminist https://www.thebarefootmommy.com/2015/07/should-you-discourage-your-daughters-princess-obsession/

http://www.npr.org/2011/02/05/133471639/saving-our-daughters-from-an-army-of-princesses     Saving our daughters from princess culture

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2289347/Parents-risk-turning-daughters-spoilt-princesses-letting-dress-up.html    Parents risk turning daughters into spoilt princesses

http://www.mommyish.com/2012/01/02/fallen-princesses-dina-goldstein-965/     “Fallen Princesses” series reveals the dangers of princess of culture

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Djnv7Yact-I   Peggy Orenstein discusses her book, Cinderella Ate my Daughter


P.S.- Now if you choose to call your daughter “princess” make sure she knows this: http://babyandblog.com/2014/07/7-historical-warrior-princesses-i-want-my-daughter-to-emulate/