Kwanzaa celebration starts December 26th

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ST. LOUIS, MO (KTVI)- The first day of Kwanzaa takes place on December 26th. Kwanzaa is an African American holiday that celebrates family, community and culture. The word Kwanzaa, (matunda ya kwanza) is the Swahili word meaning first fruits. The seven-day celebration was created by Maulana Karenga in 1966 to celebrate the heritage of African Americans by honoring family, community and culture.

The colors worn to represent the holiday are black, red and green. Black is a representation of the people, red is for the blood that unites everyone with ancestry that dates back to Africa as well as the blood shed during slavery and the civil rights movement. The color green represents the the lush land of Africa.

During Kwanzaa, families traditionally gather to light the kinara. This is a candle holder with seven candles in the colors of red, black, and green. The black candle is placed in the center and used to light the other flames from left to right. The candles, or mishuuma saba, represent the Seven Principles, Umoja, Kujichagulia, Ujima, Ujamaa, Nia, Kuumba and Imani.

The Black National Anthem, “Lift Every Voice And Sing,” is also sung in celebration of black Americans.

Kwanzaa is celebrated yearly between December 26th and January 1st.

To everyone celebrating, we kindly say Happy Kwanzaa!

Seven days of Kwanzaa:

Day 1. Umoja: Unity
Day 2. Kujichagulia: Self-Determination
Day 3. Ujima: Working together
Day 4. Ujamaa: Supporting each other
Day 5. Nia: Purpose
Day 6. Kuumba: Creativity
Day 7. Imani: Faith

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