Lowcountry Kwanzaa committee kicks off 7-day celebration

By Ava

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) -- During the seven days of Kwanzaa, those who celebrate are reminded of the seven principles of life.

"Umoja which means unity, Kujichagulia which means self-determination, Ujima collective works and responsibility, Ujamma cooperative economics, Nia means purpose, Kuumba creativity, and Imani which means faith," said Queen Atterberry who's on the planning committee for the LowCountry Kwanzaa celebration.

She says Kwanzaa was started by Dr. Karenga in 1966 as a way to help blacks celebrate themselves and their history.

"Kwanzaa is a holiday that teaches you how to live. It teaches you and reinforces the principles of life. That's what Kwanzaa is," said Atterberry.

During Kwanzaa, gifts are usually given to children after they learn and discuss the day's principle.

"You light a candle each day. You have it set up sort of like this in your home and you light a candle and you talk about the principal of the day," said Atterberry.

Kwanzaa can mean different things to everyone who celebrates.

"It symbolizes a gathering of people, also a gathering of collective ideas," said Sherman Pyatt. {}

Atterberry said Kwanzaa was not created as a religious holiday.

"It's for living for your family, for your community, just for the world as a whole, each principle as a living principle," said Atterberr.