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.
The colors have symbolic meanings. The black candle represents the African people, the red candles symbolize their struggles, and the green represents hope for the future. The number of candles represents the seven principles of Kwanzaa.
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).
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