By Mark Taylor

DENVER (CBS4)– From Dec. 26 to Jan. 1, 2016, millions of people across the globe are celebrating Kwanzaa, a celebration of family, community and culture.

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“Kwanzaa is a Swahili word which means first fruit,” said Jeff Fard, better known as Brother Jeff.

Fard is the owner of Brother Jeff Cultural Center in Denver. The center has events planned all week to celebrate the holiday.

(credit: CBS)

(credit: CBS)

“We literally engage thousands of people in the Denver metro area,” Fard continue, “We have some of the largest celebrations in the country.”

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Kwanzaa started amid civil unrest in 1966, Fard said since then it’s focus has been more on coming together, “It’s really about community.”

CBS4's Mark Taylor interviews Brother Jeff (credit: CBS)

CBS4’s Mark Taylor interviews Brother Jeff (credit: CBS)

Kwanzaa celebrates seven principles including unity, self-determination, collective work and responsibility, economics, purpose, creativity and faith. Each day highlights a different principle.

At the cultural center’s youth celebration Sunday, Fard said the holiday’s ideals are ones that transcend faith or background.

(credit: CBS)

(credit: CBS)

“We encourage people from all race and backgrounds to come and celebrate African American culture, we are celebrating values that are universal,” Fard said.

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Mark Taylor is a weekend morning anchor and reporter with CBS4 news covering a wide variety of stories. Follow him on Twitter @MarkTaylor_TV.