BEDFORD-STUYVESANT - The African-American tradition of Kwanzaa began Wednesday.

Black studies professor and activist Dr. Maulana Karenga started the holiday 40 years ago. The name comes from Swahili for "first fruits." The seven-day celebration of culture and history ends Jan. 1.

A candle is lit for each day of Kwanzaa, which is often associated with music and dance. The seven principles of unity, self-determination, collective responsibility, cooperative economics, purpose, creativity and faith are celebrated.

The Kwanzaa Collective group held its 32nd annual celebration at Boys and Girls High School in honor of the holiday. While some residents News 12 Brooklyn spoke to admitted that they don't know much about the holiday, they agreed it will gain popularity as it gets older.