Grand Magal of Touba in Senegal in 2024

Grand Magal of Touba in Senegal in 2024
The great mosque in Touba, Senegal.
  How long until Grand Magal of Touba?
Grand Magal of Touba
  Dates of Grand Magal of Touba in Senegal
2025 Senegal Tue, Aug 12 National Holiday
2024 Senegal Thu, Aug 22 National Holiday
2023 Senegal Sun, Sep 3 National Holiday
2022 Senegal Wed, Sep 14 National Holiday
2021 Senegal Sun, Sep 26 National Holiday

Commemoration of the departure in exile of Sheikh Ahmadou Bamba Mbacké to Gabon

When is Grand Magal of Touba?

Grand Magal of Touba is a national holiday in Senegal observed on 18th Safar in the Islamic calendar.

Traditions of Grand Magal of Touba

This day sees the largest pilgrimage, or Magal, in the country as hundreds of thousands of followers make their way to the holy city of Touba.

The Grand Magal is the main religious festival of the Senegalese Muslim brotherhood, the Mourides.

Mouridism is a branch of Sufi Islam that was founded by Sheikh Ahmadou Bamba Mbacké. This branch of Islam combines the teachings of the Prophet Muhammad with values from the Wolof culture, the largest ethnic group in Senegal. Mouridism is practised by around 28% of the Senegalese population.

Born in 1853, Bamba preached Islam at a time when Senegal was under the control of France. He founded the city of Touba in 1887 as a spiritual home for Muslims.

Although he never encouraged violence, his popularity became a concern to the French, and in 1895 he was exiled to Gabon for over seven years. When he returned to Dakar, his followers were sent into rapture as they had thought he had died. His enduring popularity meant that he was sent to exile again, this time to Mauritania for four years.

He eventually returned to Senegal in 1907, and although he was under house arrest for most of the rest of his life, the Mouride religion grew and established itself as a major presence in the country.

Shortly before his death in 1927, work began on the great mosque in Touba, which is the largest mosque in sub-Saharan Africa. Bamba is buried inside the mosque and the pilgrimage takes place so that Mourides can pay their respects to Bamba and honour his legacy on the date of his exile to Gabon.

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