HEMPSTEAD, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — The Long Island village of Hempstead kicked off the week-long Kwanzaa holiday Thursday with a community celebration.

The first day of Kwanzaa is umoja, which means unity.

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Thursday’s celebration included dance and musical performances from local school children.

People also dressed in traditional robes to celebrate their African heritage and African-American culture.

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“With Kwanzaa we know that it’s taken from Swahili which we celebrate the first fruit, the harvest, and so we’re excited today that we have a village, residents that are full of love festivity,” said Hempstead Village Trustee Waylyn Hobbs, Jr.

Kwanzaa highlights the importance of family and community, focusing on seven guiding principles.

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Hempstead has the largest African-American population on Long Island.