4 ways to celebrate Kwanzaa in Houston

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HOUSTON – Kwanzaa, which comes from the Swahili phrase “matunda ya kwanza," means “the first fruits of harvest." It is the celebration of the African-American community, family and culture and falls between Dec. 26 and Jan. 1 each year.

The seven-day celebration emphasizes a different key principle of African-American culture each day.

There are four events in Houston that you can take part in to join the African-American celebration:

1. Children’s Kwanzaa Festival

The Emancipation Economic Development Council and Project Row Houses is hosting its annual Kwanzaa Children’s Festival in Third Ward. The event will feature food and drinks, dance and drum performances, arts and crafts for children of all ages and a game station with musical chairs, board games, connect four and UNO cards.

When: 1 p.m. to 3 p.m., Dec. 27

Where: El Dorado Ballroom, 2310 Elgin St.

2. A Kwanzaa Kujichagulia Celebration

The Houston Chapter of the National Black United Front invites everyone to celebrate the second principle of Kwanzaa, Kujichagulia, which means self-determination. There will be an African Marketplace from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. A drum call performance at 6:30 p.m., followed by the Kwanzaa Celebration & Ritual at 7 p.m.

Cost: Free

When: 5 p.m. to 9 p.m., Dec. 27

Where: Shrine Cultural and Event Center, 5309 Martin Luther King Blvd.

3. Kwanzaa Celebration

The Resurrection Metropolitan Community Church invites you to celebrate Kwanzaa by singing, dancing, drumming, telling and listening to stories, eating and learning about the principles and symbols of Kwanzaa. Guests are encouraged to take a book suitable for children from Pre-K to 12th grade that tells stories of Africa, the diaspora of Africans, or African Americans, as the books will be donated to YES Prep.

Cost: Free

When: From 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., Dec. 27.

Where: Resurrection Metropolitan Community Church, 2025 West 11th St.

4. Celebrate Kwanzaa Imani with Shrine Houston

The Shrines of the Black Madonna of the Pan-African Orthodox Christian Church invite guests to celebrate the seventh principle of Kwanzaa, Imani, which means faith. Guests can arrive early to shop at the market, which opens at 4 p.m., enjoy a drum call performance at 6:30 p.m. and take part in the celebration at 7 p.m.

Cost: Free

When: Jan. 1

Where: Shrine Cultural and Event Center, 5309 Martin Luther King Blvd.

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