Kwanzaa celebrations begin, honoring African American culture and history
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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