Independence Day in Senegal
Observed annually on April 4th, Senegal Independence Day is a holiday that celebrates the country’s independence from France on April 4, 1960. In the 17th century, France had taken possession of the area around Dakar and had used it for the Atlantic slave trade. During the mid-1800s, France was able to take control of a larger area and had ventured deeper into the mainland.
In April of 1959, French Sudan and Senegal merged to become the Mali Federation. On April 4, 1960, an transfer of power agreement was reached and the area became fully independent. The Mali Federation would break up soon after, and Senegal would emerge as an independent country.
Facts About Senegal
Now that we’ve gone over the purpose of Senegal Independence Day, let’s now take the time to learn a little bit more about this country. We feel the best way to do that is by listing some of the fine facts that we’ve learned about this country and listing them below.
- Senegal is home to 7 UNESCO Sites.
- One of the most visited locations in Senegal is Goree Island.
- Goree Island has a history that dates back to the 15th century.
- Every winter, over three million birds arrive at the Djoudj National Bird Sanctuary.
- The first president of Senegal was Léopold Sédar Senghor.
- The most popular sport in Senegal is wrestling.
- Senegal’s two biggest exports are fish and peanuts.
- Senegal occupies an area of 196, 722 square kilometers.
- Senegal is the only West African country to not suffer a military coup.
Observing Senegal Independence Day
One of the main ways that this holiday is observed is with a parade in the capital of Senegal, Dakar. Of course, those are only where the main celebrations are located, there are other activities all across Senegal. People use the day to spend time with family, enjoy great Senegal food, and enjoy other activities.