Cary’s 27th Annual Kwanzaa Celebration

Kwanzaa, a cultural holiday intended to help reconnect African Americans to their roots, is celebrated Dec. 26 through Jan. 1. Created in 1966 by Dr. Maulana Karenga, a cultural activist and professor of Africana studies, Kwanzaa acknowledges and honors African American heritage with candle lightings, dancing, singing, gifts and a large feast.

Black, red and green candles are arranged on a Kinara, a traditional candle holder for seven candles. During the week, a different candle is lit symbolizing the seven different principles of Kwanzaa — umoja (unity), kujichagulia (self-determination), ujima (working together), ujamaa (supporting each other), nia (purpose), kuumba (creativity) and imani (faith). The word Kwanzaa is Swahili for “first,” as the holiday is modeled after the harvest, or “first fruits” celebrations in Africa. The colors of Kwanzaa represent unity for people of African descent worldwide. Black is for the people, red is for the blood that unites those with African ancestry and green is for the rich land of Africa.

During the week of Kwanzaa, all are invited to celebrate and learn more about African American history and culture. Join the Town of Cary for its 27th Annual Kwanzaa Celebration at the Cary Arts Center on Dec. 30. In partnership with the Ujima Group Inc., the town will showcase African culture with a children’s village, storytelling, dance performances, drumming, a traditional Kwanzaa ceremony and more. Admission is free.

For more information and a schedule of events, visit the Town of Cary’s website.

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