Kwanzaa celebration in Germantown

The day after Christmas, many families will illuminate their homes with the first of seven candles for Kwanzaa. The African American and Pan-African holiday, which runs from Dec. 26 through Jan. 1, focuses on celebrating  culture, family and community.

The Johnson House in Historic Germantown invites families to join them for the second day of Kwanzaa, Tuesday, Dec. 27 from 6-8 p.m. at 6306 Germantown Ave. The Kwanzaa celebration will feature storyteller Serita Johnson, Temple University’s Pan-African Studies Community Education Program (PASCEP) Drumming and Percussion group and arts-and-crafts activities for children.This year’s theme at the Johnson House is Nia (purpose), the fifth principle, which is defined by the holiday’s creator Maulana Karenga as the intent “to make our collective vocation the building and developing of our community in order to restore our people to their traditional greatness.” Karenga, a professor and chair of Africana Studies at California State University, created Kwanzaa during the Civil Rights Movement in 1966.During the seven-day observation of the holiday, people celebrate the seven principles, known as Nguzo Saba: Umoja (unity), Kujichagulia (self-determination), Ujima (collective work and responsibility), Ujamaa (cooperative economics), Nia (purpose), Kuumba (creativity) and Imani (faith). A different candle is lit for each of the seven days, culminating the holiday with a feast on the seventh day and a final sip of the Unity cup.

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