ROCHESTER, N.Y. — The Roc Holiday Village is celebrating more than Christmas.

“We’re always happy to let everyone know that Kwanzaa, the African celebration of first fruits is a time for us to come together and to really share African American history and culture,” said Delores Jackson Radney, a member of the Rochester Kwanzaa Coalition.

Kwanzaa is a weeklong celebration that takes place from Dec. 26 to Jan. 1, to honor the seven principles of Kwanzaa known as the Nguzo Saba. 

“The main thing about Kwanzaa is that we’re always celebrating what is good in the community, Jackson Radney said. “All year long we have been using the seven principles of Kwanzaa, unity, self-determination, collective work and responsibility, cooperative economics, purposeful living, creativity and faith. Then you celebrate all the good that you have done throughout the year and that’s why it’s a celebration.”

The holiday originated in 1966 and since then has become an important holiday tradition for many, and a way for community members to celebrate together. 

“From the 26th to the 31st, the Rochester Coalition celebrates in community and then on the last day of Kwanzaa we encourage everyone to celebrate at home,” she said.

The Rochester Kwanzaa Coalition is hosting an event featuring crafts and activities that allowed all community members to take part in the celebration, no matter their culture. 

“We need us all to embrace our culture and our culture together, and so Kwanzaa helps us to have empathy with other people and to celebrate the African American holiday with others,” said Jackson Radney.