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Kwanzaa celebrations begin, honoring African American culture and history

Dec 26, 2022, 4:23 PM | Updated: 4:33 pm

Kwanzaa begins on December 26 and ends on January 1, celebrating African American culture and histo...

Simone Fritz puts the seven candles representing the seven principles of Kwanzaa in the kinara at the Kwanzaa family celebration at the Utah Museum of Fine Art in Salt Lake City on December 27, 2006. Photo/ Laura Seitz/ Deseret Morning News

SALT LAKE CITY — First established in 1966, the annual celebration of Kwanzaa begins today and ends on January 1. 

Activist Maulana Karenga created the holiday to memorialize African American history, culture, family and community. Furthermore, the ideas and concepts that make up the celebration are derived from seven principles expressed in the Swahili language

Throughout the week, people learn and celebrate one principle nightly. Different values within African American communities help construct the principles, according to the National Museum of African American History and Culture.

On each night, people share stories and poems, sing songs about different values, and light a candle on the Kinara. The Kinara represents the seven principles. 

Additionally, on the sixth day a feast takes place and on the seventh gifts are exchanged. 

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Kwanzaa celebrations begin, honoring African American culture and history