Kwanzaa starts with celebration to reflect and connect, another free event Tuesday

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As Christmas and Hanukkah festivities dwindle, Kwanzaa is just getting started.

Monday marked the first day of Kwanzaa — to kick off the African American holiday, the Cultural Wellness Center led a celebration at Minneapolis’ Midtown Global Market.  

“Kwanzaa is such a great example of how we reinvent ourselves,” Atum Azzahir, founder and executive director of the Cultural Wellness Center, said. “[It’s about] how we take the time to claim ourselves and to build into it.”

Azzahir adds the holiday is about reflecting on the past while focusing on the future.

The event Monday had cultural drumming, free food, and prizes for a few lucky attendees — Tuesday will have a similar celebration.

“The healing and spiritual celebration that is upon us, all of us you know, no matter who you are, coming out COVID, coming out of all of the challenges we have faced with brother George Floyd and all of that, we’re all looking at both healing and repenting,” Azzahir said.

“That’s how important it is for Kwanzaa for us,” she added.

Kwanzaa runs from December 26 through January 1.