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7-Day Festival of Kwanzaa Begins Today

Photo by soulchristmas via Flickr
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With Hanukkah and Christmas 2009 now behind us, another major December holiday begins today: Kwanzaa.

Created in 1966 by a man named Maulana Karenga, now a CSULB professor, Kwanzaa honors the Seven Principles during its 7 days: "unity, self-determination, collective work and responsibility, cooperative economics, purpose, creativity and faith," as explained by an article by the CNS published by abc7.

Celebrants light a candelabrum called a kinara, and some opt to display a three-color flag or fast before the final night's feast. For many, the holiday is an important celebration of black heritage, unity, and expression. As part of the festival today a parade and a celebration was held in Leimert Park.

Learn more about Leimert Park via LAist's Neighborhood Project, then head down there tomorrow for a soulful brunch, or check out one of the spots we checked out in the Leimert Park Eats series: Cafe Soul, Ackee Bamboo, M&M Soul Food, Shabazz Good Foods, or Mama's House.