Kwanzaa has all the necessary trappings of a great holiday: an epic feast and a gift exchange. Although it's not nearly as widely celebrated as another winter tradition which will remain unnamed, it's perhaps the most open-armed of the three major fetes -- Kwanzaa has no religious affiliation. Instead, the seven-day celebration spotlights seven universal guiding principles such as unity, self-determination and creativity. You might say it's a holiday for the "rest of us." Celebrate with storytelling, music and African-made crafts at the Missouri Botanical Garden (4344 Shaw Boulevard; 314-577-5100 or www.mobot.org) when it hosts Kwanzaa: Festival of the First Fruits. The festival takes place from noon to 4 p.m. Wednesday, December 28. The event is free with regular garden admission ($4 to $8).
Wed., Dec. 28, 2011