Many New Yorkers are breaking out the candles for the first day of Kwanzaa.

The seven day holiday celebrates traditional African values such as family, faith and self-improvement.

It first began in 1966.

Participants light seven candles over the course of the next week, with each one representing a different principle of African life.

The principle being recoginized Tuesday is Umoja, or unity.

Kwanzaa ends on New Year's Day.