Vallejo Kwanzaa Celebration

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The "Kiinara" is one symbol of Kwanzaa. It holds seven candles to represent the seven principles of the holiday.

The Kwanzaa principle “ujima” means “to build and maintain our community together, making our brothers’ and sisters’ problems our problems, and solving them together.”

Celebrating this principle, the 13th Annual Kwanzaa will be held on Saturday, Dec. 28 at the Vallejo Naval & Historical Museum.

As a traditional celebration in the African American culture, Kwanzaa begins the day after Christmas and lasts until Jan. 1. The seven principles of Kwanzaa are: “umoja”- unity; “kujichagulia”- self-determination; “ujima”- cooperative work and responsibility; “ujamaa”- cooperative economics; “nia”- purpose; “kuumba”- creativity; and “imani”- faith.

Kwanzaa was created in 1966 by Maulana Karenga as the first African American holiday, to honor the African heritage and give Blacks the opportunity to celebrate themselves. The name Kwanzaa is derived from the Swahili phrase “matunda ya kwanza,” which means “first fruits of the harvest.”

Symbols of the holiday include a candle holder “kinara” with seven candles that represent the principles of Kwanzaa; a decorative mat “Mkeka”; a cup for the pouring of libations; and a black, red, and green flag.

The 13th Annual Kwanzaa celebration will feature food, vendors, and entertainment including a drumming performance. It will be held from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the Vallejo Naval & Historical Museum, 734 Marin St. Donations of $5 are requested.

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