Dakar is predominantly a Moslem community, but guess what? Christmas is visibly celebrated. Decorations are seen adorning major buildings including the Blaise Diagne International Airport.
A Senegalese Catholic, Jean Diouf tells GBC’s Rebecca Ekpe that Christmas is a big one that represents an intimate family time.
”Christmas in Dakar is one of the happiest times” says Jean Diouf. He said ”first of all we go to church on December 24 early in the morning Christmas is very important” he stressed.
When asked why Christmas is important, Mr. Diouf said ”because Jesus is born, it’s a big day for ourselves including Dakar. So there are decoration all around Dakar”.
One interesting phenomenon is that children are seen making all types of ornaments for Christmas. Jean Diouf described them as ”petals”, I referred to them as flowers.
During Christmas, food forms the center of all activities, not only in Dakar. Mr. Diouf said ”on 25th we also go to church in the morning, after that the family comes together to make merry and eat Christmas food”.
I asked Jean why this is important to him that the family came together to party and eat together? His answer was ” Jesus is born and He saved us, because we are Catholics, it is important to us. I feel happy seeing the family and we share ideas, food, and smiles and enjoy ourselves, very nice!” he exclaimed.
I asked Mr. Diouf whether he looked forward to Christmas every year. His answer was a big YES! and said ”as I told you it is a big day because Jesus is born, when you come to Senegal, we let you know that we love Him and we need to welcome Him, during Christmas” Jean concluded.
Story filed by: Rebecca Ekpe.