Trump and Melania send warmest wishes for Kwanzaa

Unaffiliated with any religion, Kwanzaa is a celebration of community, family and culture that was established as a way for African-Americans to reconnect with their roots and heritage.

Kwanzaa is a seven-day long festival that was created to unite African-Americans and reflect their distinct culture.

Those in the audience got a lesson on the week-long celebration that involves seven principles, one for each night. "'We say "Merry Christmas" again, very, very proudly, ' Trump added, repeating his position on saying 'Merry Christmas" over 'Happy Holidays'.

Provided photo The kinara, a seven-branched candleholder, sits among several symbols of Kwanzaa, a weeklong African-American cultural and historical celebration that began on Tuesday.

"As families and friends join to light the Kinara, Melania and I extend our warmest wishes for a joyful holiday season and a prosperous year to come". Decorations are often colorful, and can include the Bendera Ya Taifa - the traditional Kwanzaa flag - as well as African masks, painted ceramic bowls, and displays of fruit and vegetable arrangements that symbolize a bountiful harvest. "Together, let us celebrate during this joyous time the richness of the past and look with hope toward a brighter future", Trump said. Candles represent such principles as self-determination and collective responsibility.

Trump campaigned on a vow to promote the phrase "Merry Christmas" over the more politically correct "Happy holidays", and he has overtly emphasized the Christmas line in public appearances and statements in December. To the contrary, Trump once used Kwanzaa to attack Barack Obama, smearing the former president with the false claim that he honored Kwanzaa while refusing to acknowledge the Christmas holiday.