SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Local residents celebrated the beginning of Kwanzaa Friday afternoon with song and dance at the UMass Center in downtown Springfield.
Kwanzaa is based on seven principals- unity, self-determination, collective responsibility, cooperative economics, purpose, creativity and faith.
Many residents, including Quamar Bilal of Springfield, brought their children to the celebration. “There’s so much attention put on Christmas, so it’s good for her knowing her culture and understanding there are other holidays that we celebrate,” he said.
Raiaelle Jackson told 22News she wants her children to grow up knowing their heritage.
“I brought them here so they can experience their own culture. Unfortunately in this environment you don’t get enough of our African American heritage. So It’s good to let the kids known they’re African, they have culture,” she said.
The observance of Kwanzaa began almost fifty years ago. The 7-day celebration will continue through the first of the year.