Kwanzaa celebrations in Central Florida

7-day holiday runs Dec. 26 - Jan.1

ORLANDO, Fla. – Kwanzaa is a weeklong celebration of African heritage and African-American culture that begins Dec. 26.

The holiday runs until Jan. 1 and spans over seven days, with each day focused on a particular moral, belief, or value.

Each day, a candle is lit to highlight the principle of that day, with a celebration tailored to that day’s lesson.

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  • Day 1: Umoja – Unity. To strive for and maintain unity within your family, community, nation and race.
  • Day 2: Kujichagulia – Self-determination. To strive to define, name, create and speak for yourself.
  • Day 3: Ujima – Collective work and responsibility. To build and maintain our community together and make our brother’s and sister’s problems our problems and to solve them together.
  • Day 4: Ujamaa – Cooperative economics. Uplift your community economically. To build and maintain our own stores, shops and other businesses and to profit from them together.
  • Day 5: Nia – Nia means purpose. To make our collective vocation the building and developing of our community in order to restore our people to their traditional greatness.
  • Day 6: Kuumba – Creativity. To do always as much as we can, in the way we can to leave our community more beautiful and beneficial than we inherited it.
  • Day 7: Imani – Faith. To believe with all our heart in ourselves, our community, our parents, our teachers, our leaders and the righteousness and victory of our struggle.

Kwanzaa, first celebrated in 1966, is a time for families and the community to gather to remember the past and to celebrate African-American culture. Kwanzaa is not considered a substitute for Christmas, and many people celebrate both holidays.

Here are some Kwanzaa events happening in Central Florida:

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About the Author:

Jacob joined in 2022. He spent 19 years at the Orlando Sentinel, mostly as a photojournalist and video journalist, before joining Spectrum News 13 as a web editor and digital journalist in 2021.