SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) – After two years of virtual celebrations due to the COVID-19 pandemic — in-person celebrations of the African American holiday Kwanzaa have returned here in the Bay Area.

Today was the first day of the 17th annual Kwanzaa celebration at San Francisco City Hall.

Kwanzaa was created in California to celebrate Black culture back in 1965.

“Kwanzaa is definitely an African American holiday,” Adrian Williams, director of The Village Project, said. “It’s not religious. It’s one of culture, appreciating our culture, looking back at our homeland, our ancestors, those we have lost and keeping their names in the present so we won’t forget.”

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Kwanzaa is celebrated over a seven day period, each day recognizing one of seven principles.

Each day The Village Project will be hosting a celebration at a different Bay Area location. The full list of principles and gatherings is visible here.