Wednesday, December 26, 2012


Kwanzaa, the seven-day festival which celebrates African-American and Pan-African heritage and culture, starts today and ends Tuesday, January 1. Owing to the rich cultural diversity of New York City, there are several Kwanzaa celebrations in different parts of the city. During the week, a candelabrum called a Kinara is lit, and ears of corn representing each child in the family are placed on a traditional mat. Pictured above is a kinara on display in front of the New York Stock Exchange in downtown Manhattan. Kwanzaa's focus is the "Nguzo Saba," or the Seven Principles—unity, self-determination, collective work and responsibility, cooperative economics, purpose, creativity and faith. In New York City, celebrations include Kwanzaa festival (storytelling, art, music, dance, food, and crafts) at the Brooklyn Children's Museum. Another activity is Harvest Celebration which takes place at the Dana Center in Harlem. The festival features presentation of fruits of the harvest, candlelighting, dancing and singing. The Museum of Natural History also holds a Kwanzaa celebration featuring live performances. Happy Kwanzaa!

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