SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – The first day of Kwanzaa was celebrated by the African-American community in the Eastfield Mall on Saturday.

Starting Saturday and continuing for six more days, a large vacant space at Eastfield Mall will be home to a Kwanzaa celebration that will include dozens of business booths.

The driving force of this observance is to celebrate the seven principals of life during the next six days.

Kimberly Campbell told 22News, the health products on her shelves help strengthen the community according to the precepts of Kwanzaa.

“What we want to do is help our community’s health and wellness. We want to promote a healthier, active lifestyle, which features proper nutrition and a balanced healthier lifestyle, incorporating with drinking water, fitness, working out,” Campbell said.

The observance of Kwanzaa comes at a time when the community is struggling with the continued upsurge in the COVID-19 pandemic.

Organizers hold out hope Kwanzaa will provide a source of hope and strength to help overcome this continuing adversity.

“The trauma and pain of the COVID, it’s ruined everything right? And so the whole idea of Kwanzaa, the fast-growing holiday for black and brown people, after having a conversation first, who we are,” Event Coordinator, Tiffany Allecia said.

And so through the end of the year, the holiday that came into being in the mid 1960s will continue to play a large role in sustaining the African-American community by drawing on tried and true principals of life during these uncertain times that have effected so many lives.