BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Kwanzaa celebrations are now in full swing, and we’re learning more about the origins of the holiday from the man who created Kwanzaa almost five decades ago.
Linh Bui has the story.
Saturday marks the fourth day of Kwanzaa, which was first started in 1966. The holiday originates from the first harvest celebrations of Africa.
It’s a time to reflect and bring people together.
“That’s the meaning of Kwanzaa–a celebration of family, community and culture,” said Dr. Maulana Karenga, founder of Kwanzaa.
Dr. Maulana Karenga spoke at the Reginald F. Lewis Museum in Baltimore as part of the museum’s Kwanzaa celebration. He created Kwanzaa in the midst of the Black Freedom Movement.
“I created Kwanzaa in order to give us a time as African people all over the world to come together, reaffirm the bonds between us and meditate on the awesome meaning of being African in the world and to celebrate that,” Karenga said.
The museum also opened an African marketplace with crafts and other goods.
There are seven principles of Kwanzaa celebrated on each day of the holiday.
“Those principles emphasize unity and working toward purpose, having a sense of a collective and communalism,” said Dr. Joanne Martin, National Great Blacks in Wax Museum.
This year’s theme? “Celebrating and Living Kwanzaa: Sowing and Harvesting Seeds of Good.” Millions now celebrate Kwanzaa around the world.
“I’m pleased with how it has grown, how African people have embraced it and use it to ground themselves, to build their relationships,” Karenga said.
There were other Kwanzaa festivities at the museum, including music, dancing and storytelling.
Kwanzaa is celebrated from December 26 until January 1.
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