Kwanzaa doesn’t begin until Dec. 26, but Orange Coast College in Costa Mesa commemorated the pan-African holiday ahead of schedule Wednesday with an evening celebration at the campus Multicultural Center.
The free festivities, which included cultural foods and performances, followed an afternoon discussion by Kwanzaa’s creator, Maulana Karenga, a professor and chairman of the department of Africana Studies at Cal State Long Beach. The annual secular holiday, which honors African heritage and identity, runs from Dec. 26 to Jan. 1.
Karenga is the writer of the Nguzo Saba, or seven principles of African heritage — umoja (unity), kujichagulia (self-determination), ujima (collective work and responsibility), ujamaa (cooperative economics), nia (purpose), kuumba (creativity) and imani (faith). He established Kwanzaa in 1966 and it was first celebrated that year.