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CHICAGO (WLS) — Monday marks the beginning of Kwanzaa.
It’s a seven-night celebration honoring African American and Pan-African culture and traditions.
There are numerous Kwanzaa celebrations happening in the Chicago area.
The Bronzeville Children’s Museum was celebrating Kwanzaa by bringing the community together with a variety of activities for kids.
“I feel like it is important for them to know their heritage and culture,” attendee Ilandrea Nichols said.
The non-religious, cultural holiday kicks off every year on Dec. 26, and lasts until the new year.
“It means the first fruits. It means coming together. It means celebrating tradition,” said Pia Montes, vice president of the Bronzeville Children’s Museum.
There are seven principles.
SEE MORE: Kwanzaa 2022: Everything you need to know about the week-long holiday
The first principle is unity, or umoja in Swahili, followed by self-determination, collective work and responsibility, cooperative economics, purpose, creativity and faith.
“It is like a guide line for how we can live our lives every day of the year,” said Peggy Montes, Bronzeville Children’s Museum chairman and founder.
Gretchen Bray’s granddaughter and niece understand the importance of the holiday.
“We have been coming for the last couple of years. I like the principles of Kwanzaa,” Bray said.
The Bronzeville Children’s Museum has been celebrating Black history and culture since it was founded in 1998. It is the first and only African American children’s museum in the country.
“There was nothing in terms of educating our younger children about their history and potential,” Peggy Montes said.
Throughout its nearly 25-year existence, the museum has been commemorating Kwanzaa.
“It is important for us to give our history to our children,” said Paul Montes, with the Bronzeville Children’s Museum. “Over the years, every year, more and more, we seem to be having more and more people celebrating Kwanzaa with us.”