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Kwanzaa | All About the Holidays

Posted by WMHT Web Editor on

Kwanzaa, first celebrated in 1966, is a celebration of African American culture and heritage. Every year, it starts on December 26 and lasts until January 1. Each of the seven days is dedicated to a different principle that can help shape a community, like faith, unity and creativity, as described in this PBS LearningMedia holiday video.

Traditions include lighting red, black and green candles and drum- and music-playing. On the sixth day of Kwanzaa, there is a feast, and on the seventh, people exchange gifts. Presents to children include books and symbols of African heritage.

As a lesson in American and world history, use this video as a launching pad for discussion on the ways people observe the festivity and recognize their roots in ancient African customs. WATCH:

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