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5 NYC Kwanzaa Celebrations to Enjoy this Year

Updated: Dec 23, 2021

Kwanzaa takes place from December 26th through January 1. The week-long holiday brings together African Americans for a cultural and historic celebration that pays tribute to various African harvest festivals.

Kwanzaa celebration 2021

Kwanzaa celebrations take many forms, and usually involve traditional African song, dance, and cuisine, including a traditional feast called the Karamu that is held on the 31st. Each evening of the holiday, a candle-lighting honors one seven values of African culture identified by Dr. Mulana Karenga, the holiday's creator, all of which are meant to reinforce African-American unity.

Kwanzaa African song, dance, and cuisine

New York City is rich with African American culture and heritage, and there are many Kwanzaa festivals and events being held throughout the city this year. To help with your plans, here are five celebrations---one for each borough---worth considering.

Apollo Theatre (Harlem)

Dec 26 - 27

Returning for its 15th year, the annual celebration showcases modern and traditional African dance and music performed by talents from around the world.

Staten Island Children's Museum

Dec. 27 - 30

Acclaimed choreographer Walter Rutledge will teach children various forms of traditional West African dances.

St. Alban's (Queens)

Dec. 26

This year's celebration will take place both in person and virtually. It will feature food vendors, live music, dance performances, and more.

Brooklyn Children's Museum

Dec. 26 - 30

For each day of Kwanzaa, the Brooklyn Children's museum has a robust schedule of events, including drum and dance workshops, youth ensemble performances, and pottery classes.

The Bronx

Dec. 30

Taking place in person and via live stream, enjoy an exciting lineup of speakers and performers, as well as vendors selling traditional African garb.

Parkchester's Annual Celebration of Kwanzaa

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Yumi Vega
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