Where to celebrate Kwanzaa in CT this week

Stamford Kwanzaa Association co-founder Josephine Fulcher-Anderson is joined by Moosie Harkness, left, and Anthony Anderson as she lights the first candle of Kwanzaa during the association's 11th Annual Umoja (Unity) Community Celebration kicking off the week of Kwanzaa at the Faith Tabernacle Baptist Church in Stamford, Conn., December 26, 2011. 

Stamford Kwanzaa Association co-founder Josephine Fulcher-Anderson is joined by Moosie Harkness, left, and Anthony Anderson as she lights the first candle of Kwanzaa during the association's 11th Annual Umoja (Unity) Community Celebration kicking off the week of Kwanzaa at the Faith Tabernacle Baptist Church in Stamford, Conn., December 26, 2011. 

Keelin Daly

Today marks the first day of Kwanzaa, an African-American and Pan-African holiday that celebrates history, family and culture.

Cal State professor Maulana Ron Karenga created the holiday in 1966 and chose the name from the Swahili phrase "matunda ya kwanza," meaning "first fruits of the harvest." Kwanzaa centers around traditional African harvest festivals and the seven principles, which include Umoja, unity, and Imani, faith. 

The holiday lasts from Dec. 26 to Jan. 1. 

Our Culture is Beautiful's Kwanzaa celebrations

Torrington, Dec. 26 to Jan. 1

Our Culture is Beautiful is hosting a series of in-person and virtual events during all seven days of Kwanzaa. The week will kick off on Dec. 26 with a celebration at Workman Memorial AME Zion Church, with the theme of Umoja, or unity. The week will conclude on New Year's Day with a celebration of Imani, or faith, at Howard's Bookstore. 

Lighting of the Kinara

New London, Dec. 26 to Jan. 1 (Time TBA)

The Kinara, which means "candle holder" in Swahili, will be lit every night of Kwanzaa to represent the holiday's seven principles. Neff Productions and the New London NAACP are planning a celebration on the first night, Dec. 26, at Parade Plaza.

Ferguson Library's Kwanzaa celebrations

Stamford, Dec. 27, 29 and 31 from 12 to 1:30 p.m.

Stamford's Ferguson Library will host events on days 2, 4 and 6 of Kwanzaa, starting with presentation of the documentary "The Black Candle: A Kwanzaa Celebration." 

Stepping Stones Museum candle making

Norwalk, Dec. 27 from 1 to 2 p.m.

The Stepping Stones Museum is hosting a candle making session on Tuesday, where kids will learn about the seven candles displayed on the Kinara.

Hamden Kwanzaa Celebration

Hamden, Dec. 29 from 6 to 8 p.m.

The Town of Hamden will host a Kwanzaa celebration at the Thornton Wilder Hall in the Miller Cultural Complex. The event will center around the theme Ujamaa and will include family activities and refreshments. 

Greater Waterbury NAACP's Kwanzaa Celebration

Waterbury, Dec. 31 from noon to 3 p.m.

The organization will host a Kwanzaa celebration at the North End Recreational Center. The celebration will take place on Day 6, with the principle Kuumba, or creativity.

Queen Ann Nzinga Center celebration

New Britain, Dec. 30 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.

The event will feature music, performances, vendors and interactive crafts. Tickets cost up to $20 and the event is free for children under 5 years of age.