Kwanzaa is an African American holiday celebrated by millions of families every year between December 26 and January 1.
The word kwanzaa comes from the African language, Swahili, and means "first fruits of the harvest." Since ancient times, in countries all over Africa, families have joined together to celebrate the end of the harvest and the beginning of the new planting season.
Today in the United States, families and friends gather together to celebrate the strength of the family and respect for their community. It is also a time to give thanks for everything good in their lives.
For each day of Kwanzaa, a new candle is lit in the seven-branched kinara, or candle holder. Gathering around it, children and adults sing songs, tell stories from the past, and dream about the future. On the last day, with seven flames dancing, everyone gathers for a delicious feast of international foods. Then the party begins!