NEW YORK (FOX 5 NY) - Monday marks the 50th anniversary of Kwanzaa, or festival of lights, which celebrates African heritage.
The week-long event that incorporates traditions from Continental African and African-American cultures culminates in a feast and gift-giving.
Kwanzaa has seven core principles: Unity: To strive for and to maintain unity in the family, community, nation, and race.
Self-Determination: To define and name ourselves, as well as to create and speak for ourselves.
Collective Work and Responsibility: To build and maintain our community together and make our brothers' and sisters' problems our problems and to solve them together.
Cooperative Economics: To build and maintain our own stores, shops, and other businesses and to profit from them together.
Purpose: To make our collective vocation the building and developing of our community in order to restore our people to their traditional greatness.
Creativity: To do always as much as we can, in the way we can, in order to leave our community more beautiful and beneficial than we inherited it.
Faith: To believe with all our hearts in our people, our parents, our teachers, our leaders, and the righteousness and victory of our struggle.
Seven candles represent the Seven Principles. A red, green, or black candle is lit on the kinara (candle holder) each day.