Hayti, Holton to present Kwanzaa ceremonies
Hayti Heritage Center’s annual observance of Kwanzaa begins with ceremonies Dec. 27, the second day of the holiday. On that day, observers celebrate the principle of Kujichagulia, or self-determination.
The observance begins at 5 p.m. with a marketplace. Local vendors will be selling jewelry, traditional clothing, art, books and more. Also beginning at 5, fathers will be serving food they cooked.
Opening ceremonies begin at 7 p.m. in St. Joseph’s Performance Hall, hosted by Zayd Malik Shakur, a poet and musician. Performers include the groups Elements of Percussion, Collage Dance Company, and Magic of African Rhythm.
Another celebration will be held Dec. 30 from 5 to 8 p.m. at Holton Career and Resource Center, 401 Driver St. Zayd Malik Shakur will be the ceremony host. A community market will be open from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. and a Kid’s Zone area with activities will be open from 5 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. The ceremony begins at 6 p.m. Performers include Teli Shabu, Holton Dance Group, The Magic of African Rhythm, and the Al Strong Trio.
Admission to this event is free.
Kwanzaa celebrates seven principles or values during the week following Christmas Day and ending New Year’s Day. The seven principals (in Swahili, then in English) for each day are Umoja (Unity), Kujichagulia (Self-Determination), Ujima (Collective Work and Responsibility), Ujamaa (Cooperative Economics), Nia (Purpose), Kuumba (Creativity), and Imani (Faith).
Maulana Karenga, a professor of African Studies at California State University, created the framework for the holiday in 1969, and has written a book about the annual observance, titled “Kwanzaa: A Celebration of Family, Community and Culture.” Karenga also is the author of “Introduction to Black Studies” and “Kawaida: A Communitarian African Philosophy.”
For each principle, a candle is lit. Other symbols important to Kwanzaa are crops (Mazao), symbolizing the rewards of labor; the mat (Mkeko), symbolizing history; the candle holder (Kinara), symbolizing African roots; and the unity cup (Kikombe cha Umoja), symbolizing the practice of unity.
WANT TO GO?
WHAT: Celebration of Kwanzaa
WHEN: Dec. 27. Activities begin at 5 p.m.
WHERE: Hayti Heritage Center, 804 Old Fayetteville St., Durham
ADMISSION: Suggested donation of $1 for children, $3 for adults. No one will be turned away.