Kwanzaa

Learn about the winter holiday that celebrates African-American unity.

Kwanzaa is celebrated December 26 through January 1. It is a holiday to commemorate African heritage, during which participants gather with family and friends to exchange gifts and to light a series of black, red, and green candles.

These candles symbolize the seven basic values of African-American family life: unity, self-determination, collective work and responsibility, cooperative economics, purpose, creativity, and faith.

Other symbols of the holiday, include the mkeka (a special placemat), kinara (candleholder), and kikombe cha umoja (unity cup).