Â The African-American Multi-Cultural Association -- which just came into existence this year -- felt one of their first major events should be to establish a Kwanzaa celebration in Marion County.
The celebration kicked off to the beat of a drum...and pouring of libations...honoring the African ancestors...and asking for their blessings.
"Bah on fee..moja bah..mojay bah fe...mojay ba..mojay ba...fena...mojay ba."
Coordinator of the event..Claude Burley explains the origin of kwanzaa and the symbols involved in the celebration.
Kwanzaa when translated...means first fruits....the first fruits of the harvest which comes at the end of the year.
But according to dancer Teonia Burton...the principles celebrated during Kwanzaa only serve as a reminder of the principles we should celebrate...year long.
"Use the different principles and to see how we can apply them to our own daily life. not just one week out of the season."
Burley...echoed the same sentiments.
"we should live each day...and i think it's important that Kwanzaa is practiced throughout the country for people of color."
The crowd was entertained by theÂ Chiumba Ensemble...an African dance troupe from Gainesville...the purpose of the celebration marks the first day of Kwanzaa...and it was much more than a party.
"It's enriching, it's enlightening...it's and education."
Young and old... came out in their best African attire to celebrate. Gifts aren't mandatory when celebrating Kwanzaa...but when they are given, it's mainly to children...usually something handmade.
The dates of the Kwanzaa celebration..December 26th thru January 1st were chosen to correspond to the end of the year celebrations here in America... and to bypass the commercial buying period.
The next celebration of Kwanzaa will be the fourth day... Ujima, meaning cooperative economics. It'll be held at the Mount Moriah Baptist Church in Ocala.
Shani Muhammad...WCJB TV 20 NEWS.
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