Getting your Evanston news from Facebook? Try the Evanston RoundTable’s free daily and weekend email newsletters – sign up now!

The second day of  Kwanzaa was celebrated at 2 p.m. on Dec. 27 in Fountain Square when the candles in the kinara were lit and the seven principles (Nguzo Saba) were recited. Kwanzaa, the African American cultural holiday, is traditionally celebrated Dec. 26 – Jan 1. Each day a different principle comes under focus: unity, self-determination, cooperative economics, creativity, collective work and responsibility, purpose and faith.

Kwanzaa comes from the Swahili matunda ya kwanza, meaning “first fruits.” This cultural observance was established in 1966 by Dr. Maulana Karenga, a professor of African Studies. Studying many African festivals, he discovered many of them to be harvest-related. Because of this, he named the celebration Kawanzaa.

During the week of Kwanzaa, people gather to light the candles of the kinara and share thoughts of the principle for that day.  Dr. Karenga said Kwanzaa was created to reinforce the seven basic values of African culture that contribute to building and reinforcing family, community and culture among African American people as well as Africans throughout the world.