08 N1812P36012CThe Umoja Group, Inc. of Fayetteville presents its annual Kwanzaa celebration Sunday, Dec. 29 from 3-6 p.m. at Smith Recreation Center located at Seabrook Park.

Kwanzaa is a secular event that celebrates culture, family and community.

The activities include a drum call, welcome song, tribute to elders, a libation to honor ancestors, drummers, dancers, singers, a parade of African queens and kings, a feast, a  children’s candlelight ceremony and traditional dance performances. The candle lighting ceremony features the seven principles of Kwanzaa, which are values to live by daily.

 They include unity, self-determination, collective work and responsibility, cooperative economics, purpose, creativity and faith. There will be a presentation of the annual Umoja Group scholarship at the event, as well.
The Umoja Group is a nonprofit organization and donations are appreciated and tax deductible. Bring your favorite food dish to share and dress in ethnic wear.

Kwanzaa was first celebrated in 1966 when Maulana Karenga introduced the celebration. Karenga modeled the event after traditional African harvest festivals and named it based on the Swahili phrase “matunda ya kwanza,” which means “first fruits.” Although Kwanzaa takes place during Christmas and Hanukkah seasons, it is not a religious holiday.

The event is free and open to the public. For more information, call 910-485-8035 or email umojagroupfay@gmail.com.