By Justin Udo

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Kwanzaa is underway, and the Please Touch Museum of Philadelphia is doing its part to educate kids about the meaning of the holiday.

Kwanzaa is a Pan-African holiday that honors family, community, and culture, during a week of ceremonies and celebrations.

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“It goes from the day after Christmas, so we can count how many days with our candles,” one museum employee explained to a group of children.

The museum kicked off Kwanzaa by hosting workshops featuring different elements of the holiday.

“We’re exploring the cultural aspects African american culture and heritage,” said Danielle Defassio with the Please Touch Museum.



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The workshops included dance performances, mat weaving, a candle making class, and a drawing center that highlighted Kwanza’s seven principles.

  1. Umoja (Unity)
  2. Kujichagulia (Self-Determination)
  3. Ujima (Collective Work and Responsibility)
  4. Ujamaa (Cooperative Economics)
  5. Nia (Purpose)
  6. Kuumba (Creativity)
  7. Imani (Faith)

Officials with the museum say they hope by holding this program, they will pass on some of Kwanzaa’s teachings like unity, self-determination and creativity to all of the kids who came out for the experience.

“If each one of us celebrates and uses those everyday, the world would be a better place,” said musician Yahya Kamate.

“To understand the culture and the celebrations of other people, really starts the process of opening up and having dialogue and loving and learning and caring for your neighbors and your community,” Defassio said.

Even though Kwanzaa is an African-American holiday, all are encouraged to observe it.

“As long as there is love in your heart and there is no place for hate, you are someone who can celebrate Kwanzaa, that we can embrace in our group,” said Kamate.

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Kwanzaa runs through January 1, and events celebrating the holiday will be taking place all around the Delaware Valley.