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 ventured deeper into the mainland.

In April of 1959, French Sudan and Senegal merged to become the Mali Federation. On April 4, 1960, a 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 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 World Heritage Sites.
  • One of the most visited locations in Senegal is Gorée Island.
  • Gorée 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 not to have suffered a military coup.

Observing Senegal Independence Day

One of the main ways 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 Senegalese food, and participate in other activities.

Where is it celebrated?
Senegal (Public holiday)
When is it?
This year (2024)
April 4 Thursday
Next year (2025)
April 4 Friday
Last year (2023)
April 4 Tuesday