SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – The seven-day celebration of Kwanzaa began Monday. The holiday started in the 1960s to honor African and African-American culture, history, and heritage. It always begins on December 26.
The holiday is marked by participants lighting a candle holder known as a kinara. Over the week, Kwanzaa honors one of each of the seven principles known as Nguzo Saba. Those principles are:
- Self determination
- Collective work and responsibility
- Cooperative economics
The principle for the first day of Kwanzaa is unity, which strives for better connections between families, community, and the nation. While Kwanzaa is not religiously-based, it highlights the cultural pride of the African-American community.
A public Kwanzaa celebration will be held Friday from noon to 2:00 P.M. at the UMass Center at Springfield, located at Tower Square.