ATLANTIC CITY – Residents got to learn more about the African-American festival of Kwanzaa at the Free Public Library on Saturday, Dec. 15.
The non-religious holiday lasts for seven days, from Dec. 26 to Jan. 1. On Saturday, they got to celebrate the harvest a bit early with candle lighting, dancing and drumming.
Started in 1966 by Maulana Karenga, chairman of Africana Studies at California State University in Long Beach, as a way to instill pride in culture, the festival takes its name from the Swahili phrase for “first-fruits,” matunda ya kawanza, and honors African ancestors and culture, and provides a chance to enjoy food, gift-giving, and the red, green and black colors of Kwanzaa.
Each day focuses on principals and goals for the year, including Umoja (unity), Kujichagulia (self-determination), Ujima (collective work and responsiblity), Ujamaa (cooperative economics), Nia (sense of purpose), Kuumba (creativity) and Imani (faith).
Learn more at maulanakarenga.org.