Kwanzaa: Festival of the First Fruits at Missouri Botanical Garden

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ST. LOUIS – December 26 is the first day of Kwanzaa.

The seven-night celebration of African-American and Pan-African culture started in 1966.

People celebrating Kwanzaa light black, green and red candles representing seven principles. On day one the candle represents “Umoja” meaning unity for family, nation, and race.

Kwanzaa is a Swahili term that means “first fruits,” and this contemporary African-American holiday centers around the feast table of the harvest.

This year’s Kwanzaa ceremony at the Missouri Botanical Garden starts Monday at noon and highlights a day of storytelling, craft and jewelry displays, and authentic African drumming and musical performances.

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