Pentecost is a Christian observance in Senegal that takes place on the fiftieth day of Easter – 49 days after Easter Sunday. It is also known as Whit Sunday, and is celebrated with a Whit Monday public holiday each year.
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Pentecost is the final celebration of the seven-week Easter period. According to Christian belief, Pentecost commemorates the day that the Holy Spirit descended upon the Apostles and disciples of Jesus, giving them the ability to speak in different languages to share the good news about Jesus.
The name “Whit” Sunday and Monday comes from the white clothes traditionally worn by those being baptised on this popular day for baptisms.
Senegal is overwhelmingly Islamic, but about seven percent of the people are Christian, most of these being Roman Catholic. In Dakar, the capital city, along the coastal regions, and in a few scattered spots in the interior, Christian populations are significant and Pentecost is routinely celebrated.
Those who take Pentecost Monday off from work have a variety of activities to choose from. Just relaxing at home is common, but locals and travellers may choose to tour the old colonial capital of Saint Louis, or get back in touch with nature.