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Kwanzaa, a secular festival or holiday is observed as a celebration of African American culture, heritage, unity, and traditional values. Kwanzaa was created in 1966 by Dr. Maulana Karenga, professor and department chair of Africana Studies at California State University. Dr. Karenga’s goal was to start a holiday that paid tribute to the roots and traditional cultural values from the African continent as applied to everyday living. It has now been accepted as a weeklong festival held in the United States and other nations in Europe.
The observance of Kwanzaa is celebrated for seven nights with special significance given to the lighting of the seven colored candles, and discussion of their Swahili symbols and principles. Family and friends participate with poetry readings, songs and African dance selections. The Legacy Museum has often observed this holiday festival and this year invites the Lynchburg Community to join us for the celebration.