BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — Uplifting your community economically, also known as the principal Ujamaa, was today’s theme as community members and vendors gathered at the Martin Luther King Jr. Community Center to celebrate Kwanzaa.

Kwanzaa is a week-long holiday starting the day after Christmas that celebrates the African American community, family and culture, honoring a different principle each day. Kwanzaa began more than 50 years ago and the holiday is meant to help restore African heritage and culture.

The event included the lighting of the kinara, a seven-branched candleholder used in Kwanzaa celebrations. With a reflection of the principles assigned to each day of the week-long celebration.

“They’re not just principles that we live by during the seven days of Kwanzaa, they are principles that we, as Black people as Pan-Africans, we try to infuse those into our everyday lives because those are the things that keep us together as a community,” said Community Organizer Faheemah Floyd.

Principles that Floyd shares each person could benefit from putting into practice.

“Working together, having unity, having self-determination, having a sense of purpose, having a sense of identity, having creativity, these are everyday practices that anybody should be infusing into their life whether they are black or not, these are human principles,” said Floyd.

Floyd shares that this event is the longest-running Kwanzaa celebration Bakersfield has ever had and often the only one. This is why every year all are encouraged to join.

“We’re going to continue to celebrate who we are, educate ourselves, educate the community, and you can join in on this with us, and it’s an opportunity for you to get to know us better and see who we are without having preconceived notions about our community,” said Floyd.

Kwanzaa runs until Jan. 1.