ROANOKE, Va. -

Christmas is over, but Thursday marks the first day of Kwanzaa.

Kwanzaa began in 1966 and is centered around family and African-American culture.

The holiday is a harvest festival, a reflection of the previous year and a time to set goals for the upcoming year.

Candles are lit to symbolize seven important principals.

The holiday also speaks to African-American culture throughout history and in America, through the good and bad.

“It's therapeutic for us, culturally to a certain degree. It speaks directly to our culture. Our long term history and our short term history,” Stephen Niamke said.

The Melrose-Rugby neighborhood forum is holding a Kwanzaa celebration Saturday at 11:00 am.

The event will take place at 1730 Orange Avenue in Roanoke and will include traditional celebrations including libations and a feast or "Karamu".