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23 Dec 2021

Where to celebrate Kwanzaa in greater Philadelphia for 2021

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December 23, 2021 Category: Entertainment Posted by:

ABOVE PHOTO: The African American Museum in Philadelphia celebrates Kwanzaa with crafts, music, performances and, of course, a lighting of the kinara, representing holiday’s seven core principles. (Photo by J. Fusco for VISIT PHILADELPHIA® )

Boathouse Row sparkles with kinara lights, The African American Museum stages two all-day celebrations and more…


From the Swahili phrase “matunda ya kwanza” — translation: “first fruits” — Kwanzaa honors African American heritage through seven principles: unity (umoja), self-determination (kujichagulia), collective responsibility (ujima), cooperative economics (ujamaa), purpose (nia), creativity (kuumba) and faith (imani). Founded by Dr. Maulana Karenga in 1966, the holiday is marked by storytelling, performances and more from December 26 through January 1.

In Greater Philadelphia this year, celebrants can enjoy multiple all-ages events at spots including The African American Museum in Philadelphia, Sesame Place, Boathouse Row and Franklin Square.

When you’re out and about this holiday season, remember that businesses and attractions in Philadelphia require proof of vaccination or mask-wearing at all indoor public spaces, while guidelines and requirements vary in the surrounding Greater Philadelphia region. Advance tickets or reservations remain recommended or necessary at many spots. Your best bet: Plan ahead. 

(Photo video grab courtesy Mayor’s Office of Public Engagement )

Here’s a look at Kwanzaa celebrations taking place in Greater Philadelphia for 2021.

01–Kwanzaa 2021 at The African American Museum in Philadelphia

December 26 & 30, 2021

Over the course of two days, The African American Museum in Philadelphia celebrates the seven principles of Kwanzaa with a kinara lighting, Kwanzaa 101 Lessons from Mama Maisha Ogonza of Kwanzaa Cooperative, a wellness and self-care seminar and, for those at home, virtual art lessons.

Where: The African American Museum in Philadelphia, 701 Arch Street

02–Kwanzaa Celebration with The African American Museum in Philadelphia in Franklin Square

December 26-30, 2021

If you can’t make it to The African American Museum in Philadelphia’s celebrations, the attraction brings the party to Franklin Square for five evenings of visual art, drumline performances, kinara lightings and other live entertainment.

Where: Franklin Square, 200 N. 6th Street

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