NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Saturday marks the first day of Kwanzaa.

The weeklong celebration of African heritage began in 1966 with the observance of seven core principles, highlighting traditional African values of family, community responsibility, commerce and self-improvement.

Saturday’s principle is unity. Each night, there’s a candle lighting ceremony to discuss the meaning of Kwanzaa.

In New York City, the African Burial Ground National Monument celebrated the start of the holiday with a ceremony featuring music, speakers and performances.

The last night of Kwanzaa is Jan. 1.