The week-long holiday of Kwanzaa, an annual observance of African-American heritage and culture, starts Thursday, Dec. 26.
Founded by Dr. Maulana Karenga in 1966, Kwanzaa is modeled after the "first fruits" celebrations in ancient Africa, according to officialkwanzaawebsite.org. During the week, families focus on seven principles, one each day:
- Umoja (Unity)
- Kujichagulia (Self-Determination)
- Ujima (Collective Work and Responsibility)
- Ujamaa (Cooperative Economics)
- Nia (Purpose)
- Kuumba (Creativity)
- Imani (Faith)
Families light candles, pour libations to honor the memory of lost loved ones, enjoy a festive meal and gift-giving. The holiday ends on Jan. 1.