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The Festival of Kwanzaa
By Sarah Lane
Nov 11, 2004, 09:42 PST


The Festival of Kwanzaa

The Festival of Kwanzaa is celebrated from December 26th to January 1st. It begins the day after Christmas and ends on New Year's Day. This time period was chosen because it corresponds with the end of the year celebrations in America. Kwanzaa celebrates the African American people, their culture, and their history. It is a time of reflection and community gatherings. Kwanzaa was created by Dr. Maulana Ron Karenga in 1966, during a time when African Americans were focused on a struggle to gain equality in America. Other powerful political influences of the time included Martin Luther King, Black Power, and the Civil Rights Movement. The 1960s were a time when people searched for freedom, self identity, and joined major revolutionary movements.

The very first Festival of Kwanzaa was celebrated on December 26, 1966. African Americans of all religious faiths and backgrounds practice this winter holiday. The purpose of Kwanzaa is to bring everyone together in celebration of their black culture. This is a holiday specific to the needs of African American growth and development, and rejuvenation of the principles recognized by them. It has no claims or ties with any specific religion.

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