First day of Kwanzaa

By Megan Carpenter

December 26, 2013 Updated Dec 26, 2013 at 6:58 PM EST

Binghamton, NY (WBNG Binghamton) It is a holiday we have heard of, but may not know much about. Kwanzaa officially started on Thursday.

Kwanzaa is traditionally celebrated by African Americans. Contrary to what some think, it is not a religious holiday. In Swahili, Kwanzaa means "first fruits of harvest," celebrating African agriculture and the principles that unify a community.

The seven guiding principles are represented by seven candles: red, green, and black. The Roberson Museum decided to bring a piece of this tradition to the Binghamton, as part of its International Forrest.

"It's one of over 30 displays that really help showcase how holiday traditions are celebrated all around the world," said Director of Public Relations, Jason Fiume.

Kwanzaa began in 1966. An African American studies teacher developed it, wanting other African Americans to honor their heritage.
Although Kwanzaa ends on New Years Day, the Roberson Museum's display will be up through Jan. 5.

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