NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Tuesday is the start of Kwanzaa.

The week-long celebration honors African heritage and highlights the importance of family and community.

The celebration focuses on seven guiding principles. The first day focuses on unity. Each day has a different theme, including self-determination, collective work and responsibility, cooperative economics, purpose, creativity and faith.

“I think it’s important to learn about ancestry and community,” one parent attending a Kwanzaa celebration at the African Burial Ground National Monument told 1010 WINS’ Roger Stern. “So I want to make sure the kids learn about this now, and hopefully take it forward in their lives.”

Kwanzaa ends January 1 with a feast and gifts.