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Important Dates

Kwanzaa to be celebrated Dec. 26-Jan. 1

Kwanzaa was created by activist Maulana Karenga in 1966 and is based on African harvest festival traditions from various parts of West and Southeast Africa.

Kwanzaa is the annual celebration of African-American culture, and will be celebrated Dec. 26 to Jan. 1 this year.

 The celebration culminates in a communal feast called Karamu, usually on the sixth day. The significance of the holiday is to celebrate African heritage, unity and culture, according to a Unity in Community posting.

The holiday is celebrated by decorating with objects of art, kente (colorful African cloth), and fresh fruit that represent African idealism. It is typical to include children in Kwanzaa ceremonies and to give respect and gratitude to ancestors.

A ceremony may include drumming and musical selections, libations, a reading of the African Pledge and the Principles of Blackness, reflection on the Pan-African colors, a candle-lighting ritual (there are 7 candles to represent the 7 Principles of Kwanzaa), and a feast of faith (Karamu).