The Feast of the Assumption of The Virgin Mary is a public holiday in Senegal, celebrated every 15 August, as in many other countries around the world where Catholicism is a significant part of their history.
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Although Senegal is over 90 percent Muslim, most of the seven or so percent of its populace who are Christian are Roman Catholic, and thus celebrate Assumption Day. The main events of the day, aside from merely getting a day off work, are the special masses held in honour of Mary with special reference to her “Heavenly Ascent”.
It is believed, according to Catholic dogma proclaimed by Pope Pius XII in 1950, that Mary’s body died and was buried but was “assumed” up into Heaven and glorified rather than seeing decay. She is said to have died in the presence of the 12 Apostles of Christ, but when her tomb was later reopened, it was empty.