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President Obama and first lady Michelle Obama extended their “warmest wishes” to those celebrating Kwanzaa, the week-long holiday as it began Saturday.
 
“Today begins a week-long celebration of African-American heritage and culture through family and community festivities,” the couple said in a statement. 
 
{mosads}”Kwanzaa’s seven principles — unity, self-determination, collective work and responsibility, cooperative economics, purpose, creativity and faith — are also shared values that bind us as Americans.”
 
The festival, which was first celebrated in 1966, runs through Jan. 1. Families celebrate by decorating their homes with traditional African art, lighting candles and giving gifts.
 
“In the spirit of the season, we reflect on the blessings of the past year and commit to building a brighter future for all our children,” the Obamas said. 
 
The First Family is in Hawaii for their annual Christmas vacation. 
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