America is a melting pot. Thanksgiving is a celebration for all Americans; however, when Christmas comes, not all Americans celebrate it. For instance Afro-Americans celebrate Kwanzaa, which means "first fruits" in Swahili. Kwanzaa lasts for seven nights from Dec 26 till Jan 1. The family gathers and a child lights one of the candles on the Kinara, their candelabrum (rather similiar to the menorah in Hanukkah). Each candle represents a principle of African culture. There are three green candles, three red ones and a black candle in the middle.
The first night, the black candle in the center is lit. One candle is lit each evening and the appropriate principle is discussed. The principles are unity, self-determination, collective work and responsibility, cooperative economics, purpose, creativity and faith.
One of the traditions is sipping from the unity cup.