CNN – Friday is the first day of the seven day holiday, which runs through January 1st.
Kwanzaa is aimed at helping African Americans reconnect with their roots by celebrating African culture.
A professor at California State University at long beach created it in 1966 as a non-religious celebration of family and social values.
Each day is dedicated to principles, which include unity, self-determination, collective responsibility, cooperative economics, purpose, creativity and faith.
On each night, a new candle is lit on a candelabrum that has seven branches.