Origin Stories Behind 20 Holidays

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Kwanzaa

Kwanzaa lasts from Dec. 26 to Jan. 1. The African American cultural holiday was created by Dr. Maulana Karenga in 1966 as a way to find a festive to help unite the African American community, particularly after the Watts Riots in Los Angeles.

The name is Swahili for “first fruits of the harvest,” and is based on Nguzo Sabu, seven principles to build and reinforce community in the African diaspora.

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