The seven-day Kwanzaa celebration is not a religious holiday. Rather, “It’s to keep the village together,” said Elaine Peters, organizer of two upcoming Kwanzaa events in the region.
The observances are:
- "Rekindling Kwanzaa Principles” , today, Dec. 27, from 4 to 7:30 p.m. at the Wilson Library, 303 Washington Ave, New Haven
- 22nd Annual Kwanzaa Celebration, Dec. 30 at 6 p.m. at Trinity-on-Main, 69 Main Street, New Britain, $10, $5 for children, or good-will offering.
Dayna Snell, director of the Queen Ann Nzinga Center in New Britain, said Kwanzaa is an opportunity to celebrate positive values.
Kwanzaa was created in 1966 by civil rights advocate Maulana Karenga as an African-American heritage observance. The name is derived from the Swahili phrase “matunda ya kwanzaa,” which means “fruit of the harvest.” Up to 30 million people worldwide now celebrate the holiday.
A candle is lit for the seven days of Kwanzaa for each of seven principles that represent Karenga’s view of traditional African culture:
- community responsibility
- cooperative economics
“It’s a nice, comfortable environment,” said Elaine Peters, about the New Haven event. “All drummers are welcome, because we might have a drum circle afterward.”