Portland, OR. Portlanders kicked off the celebration of Kwanzaa on December 26th with performances by the Okropong African Dance and Drum Group from Ghana. Kwanzaa is Swahili for “fruits of the harvest.” The tradition started in 1966 and has been observed in Portland since 1971. Kwanzaa was created to celebrate family, culture and heritage, and is modeled after the first harvest celebrations in Africa. During each of the seven days of Kwanzaa, one principle is honored including: unity, self-determination, collective work and responsibility, cooperative economics, purpose, creativity and faith.
The first US postage stamp to commemorate Kwanzaa was issued in 1997. There have been 5 designs released since then, the most recent being in 2016.
The final day of Kwanzaa is Sunday, Jan 1st. “Day Seven” is the Imani-Faith Day of Reflection, Renewal, and Recommitment with Family and Friends.