This Year Marks the 50th Anniversary of Kwanzaa

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By Becky FogelDecember 27, 2016 11:17 am

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Monday, December 26, marked the 50th anniversary of Kwanzaa. And as Houston Public Media’s Marissa Cummings reports, the Pan-African celebration has been getting more and more popular in recent years:

During the holidays we are taught that there are three major celebrations: Christmas, Hanukkah and Kwanzaa. But some people are a lot less familiar with the last one.

“Kwanzaa is a celebration of family, community, and culture,” says Deloyd Parker, Greater Houston Area Kwanzaa Committee member. “Kwanzaa is not a religious celebration, so it doesn’t matter what religion you are, you can celebrate Kwanzaa.”

With the popularity of movements like Black Lives Matter, some African Americans have become more mindful of their culture and heritage. As a result this may be spiking their interest in Kwanzaa.

“Looking for values that again reaffirm themselves, their commitment to community, their commitment to struggle, their commitment to issues of self-determination, to building strong communities and families, so I do expect that there will be an increase in participation among African Americans,” says Malachi Crawford, assistant director of African American studies at the University of Houston.

Crawford says there is now close to 40 million people who celebrate Kwanzaa around the world.

Kwanzaa ends Sunday, January 1.

For some of us, the perfect New Year’s Eve celebration probably involves sitting on the couch. But for the non-homebodies out there, the finance site WalletHub has you covered – they looked at the best cities to ring in the new year.

When it came to Texas cities, though – they didn’t chart too high, with Austin nearest to the top at 40 and Dallas coming in at 44. Still, WalletHub’s Jill Gonzalez says there are still some bonuses to celebrating in these cities:

“First of all you do tend to get a lot of bang for your buck – it’s not going to be as expensive as a New York or LA New Year’s Eve upwards of $100 or $150,” she says. “In Dallas, the average price of a New Year’s Eve ticket is right around 70 dollars. In Austin, it’s more like 50. So at least there are some lower prices there, it also tends not to be as crowded either.”

Of the Texas locales on the 100 city list – Garland ranked the lowest at number 98.

Gymnast Simone Biles of Spring, Texas has been named the Associated Press Female Athlete of the Year. Biles dominated her sport at the 2016 Summer Olympics taking home four gold medals and one bronze.

Thirty-one out of 59 U.S. editors and news directors voted for Biles. She beat out other female athletes like Serena Williams and Katie Ledecky for the honor.