CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – A Kwanzaa celebration in Downtown Charleston brought the community together to learn about the traditions of the holiday.

Kwanzaa was created in 1966 by Maulana Ron Karenga. The week-long holiday, celebrated from December 26 to January 1, celebrates history, values, family, community, and culture.

The celebration at Pure Theatre in Downtown Charleston on Wednesday was hosted by the Gullah Geechee Family Foundation.

“We’re keeping tradition going through our Gullah Geechee heritage but incorporating a Kwanzaa twist to it,” said Quadre Stuckey, a founder of the foundation.

The seven days of Kwanzaa represent seven principles families reflect on throughout the holiday.

  • Day 1: Umoja – Unity
  • Day 2: Kujichagulia – Self-determination
  • Day 3: Ujima – Cooperative work and responsibility
  • Day 4: Ujamaa – Cooperative economics
  • Day 5: Nia – Purpose
  • Day 6: Kummba – Creativity
  • Day 7: Imani – Faith

The celebration was held on the third day of Kwanzaa and the event’s underlying theme matched up with the principle of the day, Ujima. Stuckey educated attendees on traditions through group activities like a drum circle, African dancing lessons, and a juicing demonstration. Kwanzaa is derived from traditional African harvest festivals.

“It’s important to educate the younger generation because if you don’t let them know, they’ll be lost when they grow up to be adults,” said Stuckey.

Stuckey said the most important part of the holiday is bringing the community together.

“What Kwanzaa means to me is family. Unity. Building. Economics. And coming together as one to build a brighter future.”